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Author Rosanne Higgins, PhD, to speak at Museum of disABILITY History

Presentation to focus on research behind author’s work

The Museum of disABILITY History is pleased to welcome author and anthropologist, Rosanne Higgins, PhD, as the latest presenter in its Dialogues on disABILITY Speaker Series. The presentation, entitled “Libraries, Ledgers and Graveyards: Unearthing the Facts Behind Historical Fiction,” will take place on Friday, May 29, 2015, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at 3826 Main Street, Buffalo.

Higgins will speak about her Orphans and Inmates book series and the research that shaped its creation. She will also highlight her involvement with the University at Buffalo’s Erie County Poorhouse Cemetery Project, and share how it inspired her second novel, A Whisper of Bones. Additionally, Higgins will discuss the relationship between poverty and disability in the nineteenth century.

Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and have books signed by the author.

Higgins, an adjunct professor of anthropology at the University at Buffalo, was born in Enfield, Connecticut, but spent her youth in Buffalo, NY. Her experiences traveling in both the United States and in Europe as a child resulted in a love of history from an early age. In 1998, she went on to earn her PhD in anthropology from the University at Buffalo. Her studies focused largely on the nineteenth century’s Asylum Movement and its impact on disease specific mortality in Erie, Niagara and Monroe County Poorhouses.

In the spring of 2012, she was invited to join the Erie County Poorhouse Cemetery project, undertaken by the Department of Anthropology at the University at Buffalo. This project, paired with a longstanding desire to tell a side of the ‘Poorhouse story’ that was accessible to more than just the scholarly community, resulted in her novel, Orphans and Inmates. The book is the first in a series chronicling fictional accounts of poorhouse residents inspired by historical data. The series’ second installment, A Whisper of Bones, was released in October 2014.

The Dialogues on disABILITY event is $6 for adults, $3.50 for students, seniors and human service employees, and free for Museum members. The event fee includes admission to the gallery space of the Museum of disABILITY History. For more information or to register, call 716-629-3626.

The Museum of disABILITY History, a project of People Inc., is dedicated to the collection, preservation, and display of artifacts relating to the history of people with disabilities. The mission is to tell the story of the lives, triumphs and struggles of people with disabilities as well as society’s reactions. The Museum of disABILITY History, located at 3826 Main Street in Buffalo, NY, offers educational exhibits, programs and activities that expand community awareness.

Western New York 1219 North Forest Road | P.O. Box 9033 | Williamsville, New York 14231 | Phone: 716.817.7400 | Toll Free NY 1.888.7PEOPLE | Fax: 716.634.3889

Rochester 1860 Buffalo Road | Rochester, NY 14624 | Phone 585.441.9300 | Fax 585.441.9398

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