Exploring Disability Culture: Why it Matters




SCHEDULE: Tuesdays & Thursdays

Course Description

This course provides students with an introduction to topics related to Disability Culture. To understand the evolution of disability culture, we will begin by reviewing relevant interdisciplinary theories that highlight foundational concepts, ongoing debates, and critiques of the concept of disability as it relates to representation, access, and inclusion in everyday life. Recognizing that the social and physical environment plays a critical role in how we participate in our communities and beyond, students will explore these topics as they relate to disability in the United States as well as international contexts. In the remainder of the course, we will explore the evolution of disability culture, and its importance for all of us, not just people with disabilities.

Students taking this course will accomplish two main goals. By exploring key interdisciplinary perspectives using a critical theory approach, students will gain an understanding of the complexities and criticisms of systemic structures affecting the lives and experiences of people with disabilities. This will include discussions of the potential changes within various settings to address these criticisms. Understanding both the structures and criticism is critical for achieving the second goal, namely developing an understanding of key elements of Disability Culture and its impact on us all, especially as it relates to access and inclusion across all aspects of daily life. They will accomplish these objectives through a focus on critical scholarship in disability studies, other relevant disciplines, and well as through examinations of cultural artifacts of the disability community in the US and abroad.