Instructor: Dorsten MWF 2:30 PM – 3:25 PM
How much do we really know about the mind and mental illness? We think we know what madness means, but if we are presented with a mad character in literature or other media, how confidently can we say what that character’s diagnosis is? Therein lies the problem. Mental disability in media is not reflective of the lived experience of neurodiverse people, and their true stories deserve to be told and studied. In this class, students will engage with texts that not only contain mad characters, but also those that are written by neurodiverse authors themselves. Students will learn about how mentally disabled people were viewed and treated historically, how representations of mad characters impact neurodiverse folks, and, to counter negative representations, how media creators are reclaiming or rewriting narratives around the mind.