Disability in American Culture
In this course we will address the meaning of disability in America. We will confront the social construction of disability, its representation, and its changing meaning in society. We will consider how ideas about disability-and normalcy-reflect broad and shifting notions of identity across time and place. Our critiques will consider disability as it relates to issues of gender, community, class, region, and race. This line of inquiry invites us to rethink language, the body, identity, culture, power, and the nature of knowledge itself. We will draw heavily from texts such as The New Disability History and Freakery and will view documentary films like Murderball and Through Deaf Eyes. Oral histories, memoirs, literature, and Hollywood films represent core primary sources for this class.