ENG 240 introduces students to central concepts and essential texts in disability studies and applies them to literary and cultural texts, with a focus on racial diversity and learning directly from writers and scholars who experience a wide spectrum of body/mind variabilities. The texts in this course cover a spectrum of physical, sensory, psychological, and intellectual disabilities, neurodiversity, and chronic illnesses, fostering an understanding of the lived experience of disabled people. We will study key moments in disability history through the asylum, the telethon, and the freak show, exploring how artists remake oppressive histories and interrogate notions of normality and disability, health and disease, the grotesque and sentimentality. We’ll also delve into how artists use comedy to subvert stereotypes and explore the anxiety and confusion of how to feel about disability. In addition, the course takes an intersectional approach, analyzing new dimensions that come into focus when we consider more than one form of difference at a time, examining, for example, how disability interacts with both race and ethnicity to shape identity. We’ll also explore literary works that dramatize neurodiversity, and ask how a disability can also be considered an ability. Finally, because disability always involves interdependence, we will learn about the complications of caregiving and caretaking, speaking for and speaking with, and what it means to be inextricably linked as vulnerable humans. Through the disability studies lens, the course will introduce you to a significant and vibrant canon of contemporary literature.
Arts & Letters (A&L) courses create meaningful opportunities for students to engage actively in the modes of inquiry that define a discipline. Courses are broad in scope and demonstrably liberal in nature (that is, courses that promote open inquiry from a variety of perspectives). Though some courses may focus on specialized subjects or approaches, there will be a substantial course content locating that subject in the broader context of the major issues of the discipline. Qualifying courses will not focus on teaching basic skills but will require the application or engagement of those skills through analysis and interpretation.
Multicultural, Identity, Pluralism, and Tolerance (IP) courses examine the social construction of collective identities, the emergence of representative voices from varying social and cultural standpoints, and the effects of prejudice, intolerance, and discrimination. The purpose of courses in this category is to analyze the general principles underlying tolerance, or the lack of it.
US: Difference, Inequality, and Agency courses focus on race and ethnicity in the United States by considering two or more racial and ethnic groups.
Lower-division Elective courses allow students to choose (or “elect”) courses or faculty specific to their own developing interests, enabling them thereby to shape their own educational experience. Major II students can also use one lower-division elective to fulfill the Writing Requirement with ENG 209 The Craft of the Sentence.
English Minor courses offer students centuries of cultural experience and representation in poetry, prose, drama, film, TV, new media, and folk artifacts. The English minor can focus and extend the values of a liberal arts education, while also providing extensive training in writing, speaking, and critical thinking.
Disability Studies courses focus on how ableism (anti-disability prejudice) operates in different nations and how disability intersects with other forms of identity like gender, class, nationality, and race in complex and varied patterns. Courses draw from fields like international development, health professions, design, sign language interpreting, education, and non-profit management.