Welcome to the course blog for “Feminist and Queer Disability Politics,” a Spring 2016 undergraduate course in Gender Studies at Mount Holyoke College. You can find a PDF of the syllabus here.

If you have any questions, please email Dr. Eli Vitulli.

Course Description

This course explores the social construction, lived experiences, and politics of dis/ability in the US. Over the past few decades, disability scholars and activists have called for an approach to disability that moves away from the “medical model” of individual deficit, defect, and cure. Instead, they have argued for an understanding of disability as a historical, socio-cultural, and political formation, as a form of social meaning making that works within larger systems of power to privilege some and marginalize others. Focusing on queer and feminist disability scholarship and activism, we will examine how disabled people and communities have challenged dominant constructions of disability, understood and experienced disability as a vector of oppression, and created disabled identities, communities, and politics. Throughout the semester we will consider the following questions: What is “disability”? How do disability, gender, sexuality, and race intersect? What is ableism and disability oppression? How have disabled people created identities, communities, and particular ways of knowing? How have feminist and queer disabled activists and scholars created new ways of thinking about bodies, norms, our built environment, intersectionality, and interdependency? What is disability justice?