Penn Arts & Sciences Logo


ENGL 105.900
Monday 4:30-8:20pm

This course will introduce students to the field of disability studies through literature and film. Some key terms we'll consider are ability, ableism, access, accommodation, representation, and stigma.  We'll read a number of nineteenth- and twentieth-century novels, memoirs, and autobiographies as well as critical essays and theoretical pieces written by leading disability studies scholars.  We’ll ask:  what do these narratives teach us about what kinds of norms have historically been ascribed to bodies and minds?  Possible texts and films include:  Rebecca Harding Davis’s Life in the Iron Mills, selected poems by Emily Dickinson, Carson McCuller’s The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Jackie Orr’s The Panic Diaries, Eli Clare’s Exile and Pride, and Terry Galloway’s Mean Little Deaf Queer, Simi Linton’s The Body Politic,OC87, Away from Her, and Still Alice.  

fulfills requirements
Sector 2: Difference and Diaspora of the Standard Major
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major
Sector IV: Interdisciplinary Humanities and Social Sciences of the College's General Education Curriculum