CRITICAL DISABILITY STUDIES:
THEORY AND PRACTICE
Health Studies 304 Prof. Kristin Lindgren
Spring 2016 Stokes 118 IA
Tuesday 7:30-10 email@example.com
Stokes 119 610-220-3670
In this course, students will engage with recent work in critical disability studies across a range of humanistic disciplines, including literary studies, visual studies, history, and philosophy. Drawing on these varied disciplinary perspectives, we will explore how disability theory and engaged community practice inform and shape one another. Along the way, we will discuss the historical and theoretical development of the ideas of normalcy and disability; questions around ethical engagement with vulnerable subjects; the growth of disability arts and culture; and the relationship between disability, access, and exhibition practices. In consultation with the instructor, each student will also draw up an independent reading list that will shape their final project. The course includes a semester-long project in partnership with the Center for Creative Works (CCW), a studio and teaching space in Wynnewood, PA, for artists with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This project will involve weekly meetings, alternately at Haverford and at CCW, and will culminate in an exhibition and presentation of the project at Haverford at the end of the semester. Students will contribute weekly entries in a lab notebook, which will include reading responses and CCW project notes; complete a mid-semester essay and final course project, and participate in developing the CCW partnership and exhibition. The syllabus will evolve and change as we go, based on collaborative decisions about what we what to learn and how we want to learn it.
LEARNING STYLES AND ACCESSIBILITY
I invite you to talk with me early in the semester about how you learn best and how we can make our classroom and class projects as accessible and generative for you and others as possible. If you would like to request accommodations in this course, talk to me and to Sherrie Borowsky (firstname.lastname@example.org), Coordinator of the Office of Access and Disability Services. As a class, we will try to enact principles of universal design. Let’s create a more inclusive and accessible world!
A Lab Notebook, aka repository of ideas, musings, sketches, and responses of many kinds, will be provided for all students and CCW participants, courtesy of the Civic Engagement and Social Responsibility Initiative.
Most readings for the course will be made available by pdf as we proceed.
Three books are available in the bookstore:
Lennard J. Davis, ed. Disability Studies Reader, Fourth Edition
Kim Nielsen, A Disability History of the United States (also available as ebook in Tripod)
Susan Nussbaum, Good Kings, Bad Kings
WEEK ONE: INTRODUCING OURSELVES AND THE COURSE
Disability Studies Keywords
CCW Orientation: Stephanie Petro, Arts & Education Supervisor at the Center for Creative Works, will lead an orientation to CCW and to working with adults with intellectual disabilities
Logistics of CCW partnership
WEEK TWO: REMAKING LANGUAGE, MAPPING INTERSECTIONS
Class: Simi Linton, “Reclamation” and “Reassigning Meaning,” in Claiming Disability: Knowledge and Identity (pdf)
Georgina Kleege, “Call it Blindness,” in Sight Unseen (pdf)
Eli Clare excerpts from Exile and Pride: Preface to 2009 edition and “The Mountain” (both available as audiofiles, read by Eli, on his website: www.eliclare.com); and Part ii: Bodies (ebook available in Tripod)
CCW: Orientation onsite at CCW
Notebook: Create a cover; Create an informal self-portrait combining image and text; write some responses to visit to CCW, including a list of seven things you did and seven things you noticed.
WEEK THREE: ETHICAL ENGAGEMENTS
G. Thomas Couser, “Auto/Biographical, Biomedical, and Ethnographic Ethics,” in
Vulnerable Subjects (pdf) and/or “Representing Vulnerability: Exemplary Texts” (pdf)
Michael Bérubé, Introduction and Epilogue, Life as We Know It (pdf)
CCW: Orientation onsite at Haverford, followed by lunch in the DC; lunch tickets provided for students not on the meal plan
Notebook: Reading response on what makes for an ethical engagement; response to CCW visit to Haverford, including a list of seven things you did and seven things you noticed
WEEK FOUR : HISTORICAL CONTEXTS
Class: Kim Nielsen, A Disability History of the United States
Optional: Douglas C. Baynton, “Disability and the Justification of Inequality in American History,” in The New Disability History, ed. Longmore and Umansky
CCW: Lab session at Haverford
Notebook: Lab Notes! Seven things!
WEEK FIVE: THE HEGEMONY OF NORMALCY AND REASON
Class: Lennard J. Davis, "Introduction: Normality, Power, and Culture" in ebook: The Disability Studies Reader (DSR)
Optional, for those who want to follow up on last week's reading: Douglas C. Baynton, "Disability and the Justification of Inequality in American History," also in DSR
Margaret Price, Introduction to Mad at School (pdf in Protected Reading File)
Chris Gabbard, "A Life Beyond Reason," The Chronicle of Higher Education, link below
"More Intellectually Disabled Youths Go to College" link below
Serendip post in response to one or more of the readings
Schedule individual meeting with Kristin
CCW: Lab session at Haverford
Notebook: Lab Notes! That is, responses to the lab session, including both image and text and the usual lists of seven things
WEEK SIX: NEURODIVERSITY
Joseph N. Straus, "Autism as Culture," in Disability Studies Reader
Melanie Yergeau, “Clinically Significant Disturbance: On Theorists Who Theorize Theory of Mind,” in Disability Studies Quarterly
Melanie Yergeau, "I Stim, Therefore I Am"
Nick Walker's blog, Neurocosmopolitanism:
"Neuroqueer: An Introduction"
"Neurodiversity: Some Basic Terms and Definitions"
Ibby Grace, Neuroqueer blog: "Are you Neuroqueer?"
Julia Bascom, Just Stimming blog, "Quiet Hands"
The Loud Hands Project
S#!IT Ignorant People Say to Autistics
If you have specific questions about autism I suggest you check out the youtube series "Ask An Autistic."
For example: "What is Stimming?"
CCW: Art session at CCW
Notebook: 7 things, 7 things!
WEEK SEVEN: SHARING PROJECTS
CCW: Art session at CCW
Notebook: notes and sketches
SPRING BREAK (Rest! See friends! Have fun! Oh, and senior thesis. )
WEEK EIGHT: DISABILITY CULTURE IN INSTITUTIONAL CONTEXTS
Class: Susan Nussbaum, Good Kings, Bad Kings
WEEK NINE: DISABILITY CULTURE IN COMMUNITY CONTEXTS
Petra Kuppers, Introduction to Disability Culture and Community Performance: Find a Strange and Twisted Shape (ebook available through Tripod)
Simi Linton and Christian von Tippelskirch, documentary film, Invitation to Dance
Talk and film viewing: Chris Lopes, actor
CCW: Art Session at CCW
WEEK TEN: DISABILITY AESTHETICS AND OUTSIDER ART
CCW: Meet at Haverford
WEEK ELEVEN: INTERSECTIONS
Friday, April 8: trip to see the play A Fierce Kind of Love, 7 PM at Christ Church Neighborhood House
WEEK TWELVE: ACCESS
Talk by Brian Heffernan, public speaker and advocate, and Daniel Heffernan, special education attorney
Carmen Papalia, “A New Model for Access in the Museum”
See links below to the guidelines offered by two high-profile, mainstream arts & exhibition spaces. Just browse these guidelines, checking out what interests you. Smaller arts organizations are often at the cutting edge of access, but the big organizations are generally the ones that produce guidelines.
The Kennedy Center: Sensory Friendly Programming: A Guide for Performing Arts Settings (17 pages)
Smithsonian Guidelines for Accessible Exhibition Design (110 pages with Table of Contents, so you can read selectively)
And for future reference for those of you interested in exhibitions:
Richard Sandell, Jocelyn Dodd and Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, editors, Re-Presenting Disability: Activism and Agency in the Museum (full-length book)
On Serendip, please post a reflection on A Fierce Kind of Love, on Rachel Simon's talk, and/or on accessibility (building on ideas that interest you in the reading or websites, thinking about access or lack thereof in the bi-co, at CCW, or elsewhere, or reflecting on anything at all you want to explore in relation to access).
In your lab notebooks next week, list/describe 7 access features you've noticed at CCW, ranging from specific art tools or techniques to different ways of imagining communication, community, temporality, productivity, and so forth.
WEEK THIRTEEN: EXHIBITION-MAKING AND PROJECTS
- What are the central questions or ideas guiding your project?
- How does a disability studies framework shape your project and the questions you are asking? (Consider the difference between a project "about" disability and a project that also brings questions or perspectives from disability studies to the table)
- What are your materials and methods? (Close reading of text, images, film clips? Interviews? Multiple media? A particular disciplinary framework? An intersectional approach?)
- What would you like the rest of us to learn from your work so far? What can you share with us now, and what are you still figuring out? How can the rest of us be a resource for you as you work on your project? How can your project serve as a resource for the rest of us, and potentially for others beyond the class?
- The project's scope should be equivalent to about 15-20 pages of an analytical essay, but it can take a variety of forms.
- Discuss your topic, material & methods, and parameters of your particular project with me.
- Bring a critical disability studies perspective to your project. You needn't simply "apply" this perspective: feel free to challenge, extend, or complicate ideas from disability studies.
- If your project takes a narrative or artistic form, add an analytical frame or coda that reflects on its relationship to the field of disability studies.
- Create a resource that others in the class (and beyond) can draw on. You can do this by extending a conversation we've begun in class, asking new questions, including a bibliography or other resource materials, creating an artistic project that can be shared, and in many other ways.
- For seniors: due Friday, May 6 by 5 PM (grace period until 5 PM Saturday May 7, the official college deadline).
- For all others: due Friday, May 13 by noon.
WEEK FOURTEEN: ART EXHIBITION
Class: Project Presentations
Thursday, April 28, Exhibition Opening and Reception! Invite your friends!
Final projects due for seniors on Friday, May 6; for others on Friday, May 13 at noon