David Turner is Reader in History at Swansea University. He is the author of many books and articles on the social and cultural history of Britain in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, including Fashioning Adultery: Gender, Sex and Civility in England 1660-1740 (2002) and Social Histories of Disability and Deformity (edited with Kevin Stagg, 2006).

His most recent book, Disability in Eighteenth-Century England: Imagining Physical Impairment (2012), written with the support of funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, won the 2012 Disability History Association Outstanding Publication Award.

Turner is a founder of the Research Group for Health, History and Culture at Swansea University. Together with Professor Anne Borsay, he co-directs a major Wellcome Trust funded project, Disability and Industrial Society: A Comparative Cultural History of British Coalfields 1780-1948, which examines the impact of industrialisation on attitudes towards disability. He is also academic adviser to Disability: A New History for BBC Radio 4.

His research explores the ways in which a wide variety of sources, including diaries, letters, criminal court records, newspapers, art and even jokes, can shed light on experiences of disabled people in the past. He is also interested in the ways in which disability history forces us to question categories that we might otherwise take for granted. Alongside disability, his research is interested in ‘able-bodiedness’ as a contested social, cultural and physical ideal.





  1. 30 May 2013
    David Turner posts an article.

    David Turner