Introduces anthropological perspectives on disability. Considers disability as produced through the interaction of bodily impairments with social structures, political economies, cultural norms and values, individual and group identities, institutional orders, medical practices, assistive technologies, and other factors. Considers ethnographic studies of disability in international as well as U.S. settings.
In this course we will look at disability from a cultural perspective—how we talk about disabilities, how media portrays people with disabilities, how the intersection of race, class and gender impact disability, what are our beliefs about being disabled... We will not focus on one particular disability rather we will explore the discourse surrounding the identity marker of ‘disability’.
Student learning goals
Articulate the cultural norms surrounding the discourse of disability and be able to complicate/problematize those norms.
Identify the synergy of multiple identities.
Identify the nuanced nature of the culture of disability in practice not only as theory.
Define key terms used in Critical Disability Theory, Critical Race Theory, Disability Studies, and Whiteness Theory.
General method of instruction
The course will be taught similar to a seminar--there will be large and small group discussions. Each student will be expected to come to class prepared to discuss the readings and other texts presented.
Class assignments and grading
There will be three writing assignments, each paper will build on the previous one. Each student will also be expected to present to the entire class on a topic of their choice in relation to the topics/themes brought up in the course.
Grading is based on a straight percentage/100-point scale, where: A = 94 -100; A- = 90-93; B+ = 87-89; B = 83-86; B- = 80-82; C+ = 77-79; C = 73-76; C- = 70-72; D+ = 67-69; D = 64-66. Written assignments-total 75 points, participation-total 20 points, and presentation-total 5 points.