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Week Five: The Hegemony of Normalcy and Reason

Kristin's picture


This week I want you to think about how the institution of the selective liberal arts college measures and norms us to assess our fitness. Who has access to the institution, and who doesn't? Who is deemed most "fit" for this context? Who "fits in" and who doesn't? 

1) Lennard J. Davis, "Introduction: Normality, Power, and Culture" in: The Disability Studies Reader (DSR, available as ebook and also in bookstore) (12 dense pages)

A historical/theoretical followup to this week's reading that focuses on the creation of the concept of the "norm" and the "normal."

2) Optional, for those who want to follow up on last week's reading and think more about arguments about disability in the context of women's suffrage, the civil rights movement, and immigration : Douglas C. Baynton, "Disability and the Justification of Inequality in American History," also in DSR (15 pages) 

3) Margaret Price, Introduction to Mad at School (pdf in Protected Reading File) (24 pages) Our conversation will focus largely on this reading.

4) Chris Gabbard, "A Life Beyond Reason," The Chronicle of Higher Education, link below:  (about 7 pages) 

5) "More Intellectually Disabled Youths Go to College" link below (about 2 pages)

6) Please write a post on Serendip responding to one or more of the readings.

7) Schedule an individual meeting with me to begin mapping out a course project. I have assigned less reading this week in order to make time for a meeting.

8) As always, use your lab notebook!