Disability Studies

Kim E. Nielsen

Kim Nielsen

Professor, Disability Studies, History, Women’s & Gender Studies

MS 920
University Hall 4420B
The University of Toledo
2801 W. Bancroft St.
Toledo, Ohio 43606-3390

Phone: 419-530-7254



United States disability history; gender; competency and citizenship; biography and life narratives; historical understandings of madness; feminist theory; U.S. women’s history; U.S. legal history



 2012- : Professor, The University of Toledo

 2007- 2012: Professor, University of Wisconsin, Green Bay

 2003-2007: Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin, Green Bay

1998-2003: Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin, Green Bay


1996: Ph.D. History, University of Iowa

1991: M.A., University of Iowa

1988: B.A., Macalester College



  • The Oxford Handbook of Disability History (New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2015), with Michael Rembis and Catherine J. Kudlick.
  • A Disability History of the United States (Boston: Beacon Press, 2012).


  • Beyond the Miracle Worker: The Remarkable Life of Anne Sullivan Macy and Her Extraordinary Friendship with Helen Keller (Boston: Beacon Press, 2009).
  • Helen Keller: Selected Writings. New York University Press, 2005.
    • Selected for inclusion in the American Council of Learned Society’s e-book project (http:www.historye-book.org).
    • Selected as “Outstanding” by the 2006 University Press Books Committee.
    • The Radical Lives of Helen Keller. New York University Press, 2004 (paperback 2009).
      • Selected for inclusion in the American Council of Learned Society’s e-book project (http:www.historye-book.org).
      • Translated into Japanese and released in Japan in 2005.
      • Un-American Womanhood: Antiradicalism, Antifeminism and the First Red Scare. Ohio State University Press, 2001.


  • With Michael Rembis, I co-edit the series Disability Histories (University of Illinois Press). This book series explores the lived experiences of individuals and groups from a broad range of societies, cultures, time periods, and geographic locations, who either identified as disabled or were considered by the dominant culture to be disabled.
  • Editorial Board member, Journal of Civil Rights Studies (University of Illinois Press)


  • With Susan Burch, “History,” in Keywords in Disability Studies. Eds. Benjamin Reiss, Rachel Adams, David Serlin. New York University Press, forthcoming 2015.
  • “Law, Property, and the Making of the Unfit Citizen.” Ed. Susan Burch and Michael Rembis, Disability Histories. University of Illinois Press, December 2014.
  • “Disability and Labor Activism: The Pains and Joys of Coalitions.” Eds. Dennis Deslippe, Eric Fure-Slocum, and John McKerley. Civic Labors: Scholars, Teachers, Activists, and Working-Class History (University of Illinois Press, forthcoming 2015).
  • “Historical Thinking and Disability History.” Disability Studies Quarterly 28/3 (July 2008).
  • “The Southern Ties of Helen Keller.” Journal of Southern History LXXIII, No. 4 (November 2007): 783-806. Winner of the 2007 A. Elizabeth Taylor Prize of the Southern Association of Women Historians for the best article in the field of southern women’s history.
  • “Was Helen Keller Deaf? Blindness, Deafness, and Multiple Identities.” Eds. Susan Burch and Brenda Jo Brueggemann. Double Visions: Multidisciplinary Approaches to Women and Deafness. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press, 2006: 21-39.
  • “Doing the ‘Right’ Right.” Journal of Women’s History 16/3 (Autumn 2004): 168-172.
  • “What’s a Patriotic Man to do? Patriotic Masculinities of the Post-WWI Red Scare.” Men and Masculinities 6/3 (January 2004): 240-253.
  • “Helen Keller and the Politics of Civic Fitness.” Eds. Paul Longmore and Lauri Umansky, The New Disability History: American Perspectives. New York: New York University Press, 2001: 268-290.
  • "Dangerous Iowa Women: Pacifism, Patriotism, and the Woman-Citizen in Sioux City, Iowa, 1920-1927." Annals of Iowa 56 (Winter/Spring 1997): 80-98.
  • "'We All Leaguers by Our House': Women, Suffrage, and Red-Baiting in the National Nonpartisan League." Journal of Women's History (Winter 1994): 31-50.
  • "Who Were These Farmer Radicals? The Douglas County Farm Holiday Association." Minnesota History 51/7 (Fall 1989): 270-280.


  • 2013 Friends of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries Research Grant-in-Aid recipient
  • 2010-2013 Organization of American Historians, Distinguished Lecturer
  • 2009 Founders Association Award for Excellence in Scholarship
  • 2007 Winner of the Elizabeth Taylor Prize of the Southern Association of Women Historians for the best article in the field of southern women’s history.
  • 2005 Organization of American Historians/Japanese Association of American Studies Japanese Residency Award
  • 2005 National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Research Stipend
  • 2005 Founders Association Award for Teaching Excellence
  • 2004 UWGB Woman of the Year Award
  • 1999 Minnesota Historical Society Research Grant
  • 1998 Research Grant, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute
  • 1998 Fulbright Scholars Award, University of Iceland
Last Updated: 8/8/17