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Examines the history of ideas about disability, the historical lives of people with disabilities, and the history of disability policy. The growth of asylums, the rise of the eugenics movement, a historical look at freak shows, the impact of industrialization on experiences of disability, the evolution of special education, the role of ideas about disability in colonialism, the historical treatment of disabled veterans, and the development of the disability rights movement. Geographic focus will vary. Offered as HIST 3307 and DS 3307; credit will only be granted once. Prerequisite: HIST 1311 and HIST 1312.

Disability Studies

The interdisciplinary field of disability studies explores the experiences of people with disabilities—one of the largest minorities in the United States and worldwide—as well as the ways in which conceptions and representations of disability and “the normal” have shaped human experiences more generally.  Treating disability as a crucial element of human diversity, the Minor in Disability Studies approaches disability as a social, cultural, and political construct rather than just a medical condition (as it is commonly viewed). Taught by faculty from the Colleges of Liberal Arts, Nursing and Health Innovation, Business, and Education as well as the School of Social Work, this flexible and multidisciplinary minor prepares students for a variety of graduate programs and for careers in law, education, public health, engineering, nursing, architecture, medicine, social work, communication, public history and museums, and sports management and coaching, among other fields.