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Topics in Disability Studies (Rackham)

SW572, Section 001

An Interdisciplinary approach to disability studies, including focus on the arts and humanities, natural and social sciences, and professional schools. Some topics include history and cultural representation of disability, advocacy, health, rehabilitation, built environment, independent living, public policy. Team taught with visiting speakers. Accessible classroom with realtime captioning.

Topic Description / Additional Information

This course is offered through the Rackham Graduate School for which Social Work has a listing.

Disability and Design

Though in its infancy, the 21st century is populated with numerous takes on disability that traverse models of production that include medical, social, and basic human rights. Whether in the form of technological innovation or public policy, disability discourse is concerned with new types of embodiment from political, scientific, artistic, and historically bent cultural perspectives. Regardless of the
model, disability makes a scene. Disability and Design is a course that explores the deep structure of disability as it motivates new design methodologies that impact objects, bodies and space.

Disability and Design is a multi-disciplinary course that pulls the rug out from preconceptions about disability and disabled bodies. Why do students raise their hand when they want to ask and answer questions? What if one is unable to raise their hand? This course cares for the environment of teaching and learning, and addresses the classroom as an ideal site for reconsideration within disability as a discourse.

This is a project-based, making intensive course sampling a variety of disciplines and media. In English and Women’s Studies, new modes of interpretation make available knowledge from below about the value of people on the margins. In Sociology, assumptions about lives called disabled, colored, gendered, or sexed help one to design a future with or without a spoiled identity. In Architecture, does disability make the built environment less beautiful? Or do disability studies and design now travel hand in hand?

Whenever possible, the course assumes the format of the design studio in a cooperative environment that envisions design as widely as possible. In addition to the instructors mentioned above, special guests will bring their ideas, designs, and disabilities to class.

Semester: Fall 2014
Instructor: Robert Adams
U-M Class #: 24671
Time: Thu 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Location: MHG463
This course is not taught within the SSW building.
Program Type: Residential
Credits: 1-3 Credit Hours

Course Codes

W:Social Work is not the home dept; home dept in parenthesis, contact home dept with questions

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