Disability History Lecture XI – Prof. Dr. Patrick Devlieger

De Erfenis van Lepra: Damiaan, erfgoed, kennis en samenleven in de toekomst//The Legacy of Leprosy: Damien, heritage, knowledge, and ways of living together in the future

Prof. Dr. Patrick Devlieger

The lecture will take place on Saturday October 15th 2016 from 10h until 12h30 in the Damian centre, Sint-Antoniusberg 5 (Leuven, Belgium). The lecture will be given in DUTCH. A sign language interpreter can be requested by sending an e-mail to damiaan@kuleuven.be. The lecture is co-organized by the Damian Fund (KU Leuven).

In this first Damien Lecture the starting points are the political, religious, and social exclusion circumstances in the 19th century as well as a short historical overview on the context of leprosy and social exclusion. Comparisons will be made between the situation in Molokai (Hawaii), Robben Island, leprosy villages in Yunnan Province in China, and leprosy settlements in the context of Japanese occupation, such as the leprosy village on Sorok Island in South Korea. We will then focus closer on the situation of Molokai, the influence of Damien, and the material conditions of life in a leprosy colony. The following questions are addressed: (1) How should we deal with this legacy?; (2) What is the knowledge that was produced and what is necessary for the future?; and (3) How does one live with the threatening, unknown, and negative that leprosy stood and stands to be a model of? The answer to such questions is in an open and combative position to deal with the foreign in ourselves, the necessity for interdisciplinary research in which new forms of engagement are being sought, technological progress, and alternative ways of living together in the context of transmodern cultures, with attention to experimenting, design, learning, and engagement.

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