SJE1957H: Disability Studies: An Introduction


''Doing Disability'' brings us to a central premise of disability studies--disability is a space of cultural practices done by and to people. From this premise, it follows that we are never alone in our bodies and so disability represents the material fact that bodies, minds, and senses always appear in the midst of people. Assuming that disability is done and re-done through everyday discursive practices, disability studies turns to a range of interdisciplinary work that enriches the potential to challenge our taken-for-granted understandings of social and political life. Theorizing how we do disability, even in the everyday of the (our) classroom, provides the occasion to critically engage contexts, such as education, mass media, and the built environment, as they intersect with issues of identity and difference; embodiment; narrative; the constitutive structuring of ordinary, agentive, viable, life at their opposites. Orienting to disability as a social accomplishment of everyday life is a way to examine how versions of what counts as human are culturally organized and governed. Made by culture, disability is a key space of practices where we might theorize culture's makings. In this course, we explore social models and theories of disability, so as to develop a critical understanding of disability's appearance in everyday life and to work to open ourselves to question how these new non-medicalized ways of knowing disability might influence pedagogical structures and practices.

Social Justice Education