M 12:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Disability and Lit will focus on disability and illness in literature and culture (with a primary focus on literature of the Americas with some trips into Europe and diasporic spaces). Canonical and non-canonical writers have often figured the nation through disabled or sick bodies (their own or others’). How do we square these representations with the lived experiences of those with illnesses and disabilities? What are the central scholarly debates in disability studies and how can they inform our reading? What is the history of eugenics and how does it continue to shadow contemporary culture? Moving from theoretical texts in the field to works of fiction, memoir, and film by authors and artists such as Toni Morrison, Stephen Kuusisto, Tod Browning, Lucy Grealy, Susan Sontag, Audre Lorde, Riva Lehrer, Terry Galloway, and others, this class will introduce some of the core principles of disability studies and explore the centrality of corporeal difference to our understanding of contemporary literature and culture.