Disability Studies

Over the past three decades, disability studies has emerged as a robust and vibrant field of intellectual inquiry, bringing together cutting-edge research in the humanities, social sciences, and health sciences. The discipline analyzes the cultural and political significance of disability, examining the construction and production of disability in history and in the present moment. Disability studies hones critical tools to analyze how societies grapple with physical and mental difference, the way disability becomes a site for negotiating stigma and social power, and questions of normativity and deviance.

Disability is a fundamental dimension of human diversity. One in every five Americans lives with a disability, making it our country’s largest minority population. Students increasingly recognize that gaining a more sophisticated understanding of disability experience is a critical element in their education, and one that will help prepare them for a growing number of disability-specific careers. Drawing from rich offerings in disciplines as various as anthropology, bioethics, English, health systems administration, nursing, philosophy, psychology, theater and performance studies, theology, and women’s and gender studies, the minor in disability studies will enable students to explore this critical facet of human diversity in an in-depth fashion as it relates to their major field of study and to their professional aspirations.

Minor Requirements

Six courses are required to complete the minor in Disability Studies:

  • ENGL-270 Introduction to Disability Studies - Sara Schotland
  • Three Disability Studies core courses (below)
  • Two elective courses that engage disability in theory or practice (below)

Disability studies core courses (take 3):

Disability studies electives (take 2):

The above list is not meant to be exhaustive. If students identify other courses that provide significant opportunities to engage with disability in theory or practice, they should present them to the steering committee for approval.

A maximum of two courses taken elsewhere (i.e., study abroad or summer courses) may be counted as electives in the minor, with approval of the steering committee.

Classes Offered in FALL 2018

Core courses:

  • THEO-130 Religion and Disability Studies
  • ENGL-270 Disability Studies
  • WGST-234 Feminist Disability Studies
  • ENGL-443 Gender and Care in Modern U.S. Poetry


  • ANTH-250 Medical Anthropology
  • BIOL-394 Genomics, Disability & Health
  • EDIJ-220 Education, Equity, and Advocacy
  • HESY-160 / HSCI-160 Health Promotion/Disease Prevention
  • PSYC-353 Culture & Psychopathology
  • SOCI-109 Sociology of Health and Illness
  • THEO-122 The Church & the Poor
  • THEO-121 Ritual, Spirituality, and Justice
  • WGST-141 Intro to Sexuality Studies
  • WGST-233 HIV, Culture & Politics