Disability Studies


Disability studies provides a space to explore questions like these: How has disability been defined in various historical moments, in various cultures and eras? While impairment has unquestionably been a frequent experience throughout human history, has disability-the construction of impairment as a generic social category — been a historical constant, or is it a modern invention? What social ideologies, cultural systems, and societal arrangements have shaped the meaning and experience of disability? How has disability been defined or represented in cultural and artistic productions, public laws and policies, modern profes sional practices and in everyday life?

The field also explores how to best meet the challenges and alleviate the problems of those with impairments or disabilities, with emphasis on the role of those affected in defining problems and evaluating solutions.

The Disability Studies minor centers the knowledge and experience of disabled people, studying cultural and artistic productions, public laws and policies, professional practices, and everyday life with an emphasis on disability as a social situation and a political process. Our approach is interdisciplinary, aiming to integrate the study of disability into academic fields across the campus; it is intersectional; and it makes and draws on long-standing connections between scholarship and activism, locally and globally.