DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.


DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Aug 31 (Mon) & Sept 2 (Wed)

Traditions and realities

Introduction to the course—requirements and key concepts (disability paradigms: resistance to disability paradigms)

ASSIGNMENT (9/2): Bring in a print-out of a one-page disability “story.”


Sept 7 (Mon)

No class—college is closed


Sept 9 (Wed) & 10 (Thurs, Monday schedule)



Acts 8 and Acts 9 (KJV; the blinding of Saul/Paul)

Ovid, Metamorphoses (excerpt, the blinding of Tiresias)

Milton, Samson Agonistes (excerpt, complaint about blindness)

Mitchell & Snyder, “Narrative Prosthesis

PROMPT: How do existing narratives of disability as punishment influence the way audiences respond to future encounters with disability (including their own)?


various dates, see syllabus


Each student responds to three prompts of his/her choice during the course of the semester, handed in on the day indicated on the syllabus. All together, these assignments comprise 30% of the course grade. More information on the course site.


Sept 14 (Mon)

No class—no classes scheduled


Sept 16 (Wed) & 21 (Mon)


Shakespeare’s Richard III (Act I, scenes i & ii)

Pare, On Monsters and Marvels (chapters 1-4)

Longmore, “Screening Stereotypes

PROMPT: In what ways does visible disability serve as a “sign,” a symbol that has a specialized meaning?


Sept 23 (Wed)

No class—no classes scheduled


Sept 28 (Mon) & 30 (Wed)



Dickens, “A Christmas Carol” (Stave 3, first part)

Milton, “When I Consider How My Light is Spent

Homer, Odyssey (excerpt from book 8, account of Demodocus, the blind bard)

Kemp, “No Pity Please

PROMPT: How does pity get used as a tool for understanding disability?


Oct 5 (Mon) & 7 (Wed)


Stan Lee, “The Origin of Daredevil” (full comic available on Blackboard)

Keller, The Story of My Life (chapter 4)

Rodas, “overcome and overcoming

PROMPT: How does American culture teach us to see disability as heroic (or, not)?


Oct 12 (Mon)

No class—college closed


Oct 14 (Wed) & 19 (Mon)


Where it all ends

Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men (must be purchased as separate text)

Johnson, “Unspeakable Conversations

PROMPT: Summarize end-of-life arguments from the side of right-to-die advocates and disability rights advocates and explain where you stand in the debate.


Oct 21 (Wed)

MIDTERM  (20%)

midterm exam: open book

Write an essay discussing the possible significance of disability in any two of the literary texts we have studied so far this term. Also include support from at least one of the critical/theoretical readings. Writers are encouraged to enrich their essays with examples from additional texts and recommended films. More information.


Oct 26 (Mon) & 28 (Wed)


Science, disability, contamination

Shelley, Frankenstein (1831) (chapter four, chapter five, chapter 10 & chapter 11)

Davis, “Normality, Power, Culture” (focus on the first four pages)

PROMPT: How is the idea of disability as contamination both belittling and empowering?


Nov 2 (Mon)

Multiple perspectives

Diaz, “Ysrael” & “No Face” (texts available through Blackboard)


Nov 4 (Wed)



Looking ahead and looking back, choose a focus for your final project; write and submit a two-page proposal explaining your research plan and identifying the project format; include working bibliography in MLA format. More information.



Nov 9 (Mon) & 11 (Wed)

Autonomy, power, and mental disability

Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (must be purchased as separate text)

Erevelles, "race" --OR-- Erevelles & Minear “Unspeakable Offenses: Untangling Race and Disability in Discourses of Intersectionality

PROMPT: Does disability have a race? Does it matter?


Nov 16 (Mon) & 18 (Wed)

Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (cont’d)

PROMPT: How does One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest bring disability into context with concerns of racial, sexual, and gender identity?


Nov. 21 (Sat)



Write an email to the professor explaining where you are in the research and writing process. Be sure to note questions and problems at this stage. More information.


Nov 23 (Mon) & 25 (Wed)

Autism retrospective

Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (must be purchased as separate text)

Bartmess, "Review: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time"

Nov 30 (Mon) & Dec 2 (Wed)

Watch any one of the following autism films:

Rain Man (1988); Mercury Rising (1998); Snow Cake (2006); Ben X (2007); Temple Grandin (2010); The Story of Luke (2012)

PROMPT: In your opinion, does your chosen film represent autism in a positive light, a negative light, or, somewhere in between? If you were the autistic character (or, one of the autistic characters), would you feel satisfied with your role in the film? What do you see as problems with the film? From a disability perspective, what does the film do well?


Dec 5 (Sat)


Send the professor an email with your 7-10 page paper attached in PDF or MS-Word form, or, with a link to your equivalent alternative media or multi-media project at your own website, blogsite, eportfolio site, or public file-sharing site. Note: all projects will be linked or uploaded to the publically available course website by the professor unless students make an alternative arrangement in advance. More information.


Dec 7 (Mon)



No class today--students with missing assignments should instead see the professor in her office during class meeting time--Carman 371

Dec 9 (Wed)

Melville, “Bartleby the Scrivener” (must be purchased as separate text)

(Dec 14)

The end

Catching up, fun & games, project sharing


DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.