Courses

Our research indicates that these courses include critical disability studies perspectives in their curricula. If you are an instructor/faculty and would like your upcoming class included on this list, please contact us

Spring 2023 

FRENCH 1501/1502: Gateways to French Studies: Race, Sexuality and Disability 
Instructor: Professor Jennifer Row | T/Th 2:30 to 3:45 PM | Twin Cities campus

Fulfills LE requirements for Arts and Humanities and Global Perspectives
Featuring theater activities, film, graphic novels, podcasts and invited guest lectures focusing on race, disability and sexuality from the early modern to the present.

Image descriptions: Black female or femme actors and film-makers raise their fists in the Black Power symbol at the Cannes International movie festival; A theater scene, with the actors in modern dress, shown from the audience's perspectives; a woman signs in French Sign Language. [End ID]

Flyer for the "Gateways" class

ENGL 3090: Reframing American Eugenics
Instructor: Professor Jessica Horvath Williams | MW 4:00 to 5:15 pm | Twin Cities Campus

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, BIPOC, disabled, and elderly people were treated as sacrificiable in the name of a “functioning” society—their deaths were unfortunate but tolerable. Young, white, abled people were seen as crucial to future of the United States—their survival was imperative, so their deaths were tragedies. Many named these sociocultural logics “soft eugenics” or, in activist circles, #ICUgenics—invoking the period from 1880-1950 when science, technology, and public policy targeted “the perpetuation and perfection of the race.” Yet ideas about whiteness, disability, and national futurity predated historical eugenics by nearly 60 years, and thus, are deeply embedded in American culture. In this course, we’ll read a variety of texts—classic, contemporary, or little-known—and visit local archives and collections to understand how the ideas of 1820 produced the reality of 2020.

ENGL 3461: Disability Narratives
Instructor: Professor Molly E. Ubbesen | MW 4:00 to 5:15 pm | Rochester Campus
Uses a critical disability studies lens to explore disability narratives including literature as well as multimodal texts. Exploration of texts, identities and embodiments, experiences with disability, and the relationship between disability and the health sciences through weekly writing, discussion, and collaboration. Final projects include analyzing additional disability narratives related to students' area of study and/or reflecting on their own identity and positionality in their area of study/profession.

GWSS 8210: Seminar: Feminist Theory and Practice
Instructor: Professor Erika Rodriguez | T 1:30 to 4:00 pm | Twin Cities Campus 

Disability and Precarity: Beyond Human Rights

Image Description: There are three black-and-white photographs showing: disabled protestors climb up the steps of the capital, clay figures with eyes turned towards the viewer, police wearing riot gear throwing smoke bombs in a city. [End ID]

How do human rights intersect with historical and neoliberal constructions of health, ability, and productivity? In recent decades, critical disability studies, abolitionist feminisms, and feminist conceptualizations of carework have challenged the cultural logic of social contract theory, as well as the uses and limits of human rights. Students in this class will discuss works by activists/scholars whose theorization of disability, care, and interdependence can transform our understandings of liberalism while revitalizing discussions on democracy and other utopian visions. Our conversations will include topics such as reproductive labor, eugenics, colonialism, enslavement, incarceration and detainment, and environmental crises. Readings will include works by Martha Nussbaum, Sunaura Taylor, Eva Kittay, Marta Russell, Stefanie Hunt-Kennedy, Liat Ben-Moshe, Robert McRuer, Jasbir Puar, and Susan Antebi.

WRIT 85501: Seminar: Embodied Politics
Instructor: Professor Molly Kessler | T 2:30 to 5:00 pm | Twin Cities Campus 

This course will examine core and emergent theories, methodologies, and pedagogies at the intersection of the rhetoric of health and medicine (RHM) and disability rhetorics. This course will not only provide a foundation of RHM and disability rhetorics, but will also aim to grapple with the complex intersections of medicine and disability, and the fraught role of bodies/embodiment in health, medicine, and disability.

AMST 8920: Autoethnography: Feminist, Queer, and Decolonial Approaches
Instructor: Professor Martin F. Manalansan | W 1:25 to 3:30 pm | Twin Cities Campus

Worlds, Worlds, Selves: "Autoethnography is a methodology that allows us to illuminate and speak to larger issues in our communities and in our world [by] writing about our own lives." Authoethnography provides a reflexive approach to being in and apprehending the world simultaneously. It enables critical connections between the authorial self in its varied forms, with multiple worlds through skillful deployment of words. This course explores autoethnography through theory and practice. First, it explores the various approaches to this genre by reading theories and autoenthnographic examples. Second, this is a writing workshop that aims to assist class participants in honing style and voice by submitting weekly writing exercises. 

Image description: Top image: A bunch of letters fly out of the back of a pencil with a white background in an image labeled "Words." Middle image: A planet with many lights illuminated is seen as if from outer space in an image labeled Worlds." Bottom image: A white person out in a field and wearing a blouse holds up an old-fashioned mirror in an image labeled "Selves." [End ID]

AMST 8920 course flyer

Fall 2022 

LAW 6909: Abolition & the Carceral State
Instructor: Professor Susanna Blumenthal | T 4 to 6 PM | Twin Cities Campus

Using the lens of abolitionist thought, this course explores the past, present, and future of the carceral state. It places present-day movements to abolish police and prisons in historical perspective and explores the ways history has been used to activists in pursuit of racial justice and social equality. The course will include archival research and students will have the opportunity to engage with scholars, advocates, and community organizations as they formulate and carry out their projects. 
Open to Law and Graduate Students
Contact [email protected] with questions and to obtain permission number

Course flyer

FRENCH 1501/1502: Gateways to French Studies: Race, Sexuality and Disability 
Instructor: Professor Jennifer Row | T/Th 2:30 to 3:45 PM | Twin Cities campus

Fulfills LE requirements for Arts and Humanities and Global Perspectives
Featuring theater activities, film, graphic novels, podcasts and invited guest lectures focusing on race, disability and sexuality from the early modern to the present.

Image descriptions: Black female or femme actors and film-makers raise their fists in the Black Power symbol at the Cannes International movie festival; A theater scene, with the actors in modern dress, shown from the audience's perspectives; a woman signs in French Sign Language. [End ID]

Flyer for the "Gateways" class

Spring 2022

GWSS 3215: Bodies That Matter: Feminist Approaches to Disability Studies (Twin Cities campus)

Instructor: Qui Dorian
The COVID-19 pandemic has made questions of disability and ableism central and visible for all of us as never before. Dis/ability is not a physical or mental defect but a form of social meaning mapped to certain bodies in larger systems of power and privilege. Feminist approaches explore dis/ability as a vector of oppression intersecting and constituted through race, class, gender, sexuality, and citizenship. The course examines ideologies of ableism and the material realities of such oppression, and works toward imagining and constructing a more just and equitable society. As health care is differentially distributed or limited for people who are sickened by COVID-19, we see that systems of social and economic power determine the life chances of those who claim, or are claimed by disability. Meanwhile, people with disabilities have developed many daily life strategies that can be models for everyone coping with the pandemic.

Special Topics in Design Justice*: Disability, Racism, & The Intersections of Design Justice (Twin Cities campus)
Instructor: Jennifer White-Johnson (Designer & Disability Justice Activist)

Special Topics in Design Justice