DIS ST/CHID 430 Topics in Disability Studies: History of Human Differences
Instructor: Joanne Woiak
M/W 2:30-4:20; Autumn 2019
The History of Human Differences will address the history of disabled people along with the ways that disability intersects with race, ethnicity, gender, class, and sexuality in justifications for discrimination in American society. Disability has often been used as shorthand to represent things that are negative and undesirable. We will examine historical episodes in which groups were oppressed by having disability attributed to them, including through scientific and medical knowledge used for ranking and defining normalcy. We will problematize the strategies of social justice movements that seek to purchase privilege by distancing themselves from disabled communities, and explore past and present examples of solidarity practices in disability rights and justice.