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Summer 2024 Disability Studies courses

Submitted by Stephen Dunne on April 16, 2024 - 1:01pm

Please see below for our Summer 2024 Disability Studies courses:

Please visit the DS website for more details:

DIS ST / HSTCMP 402 & 502 Topics in Disability History

Instructor: Joanne Woiak,


Topic: Race, Place, and Family Disability History 

Disability History Syllabus (canvas link)

Hybrid learning course delivery plan:

·      Mondays: asynchronous lectures, film, podcasts & webinars

·      Tuesdays & Thursdays: class meets both in the on-campus classroom and on Zoom, 1:50pm - 4:00pm

·      Wednesdays: class meets on Zoom, 1:50-4:00pm, or asynch

·      This course can be completed online and asynchronously.

Course description: This course seeks to bring disability into the center of historical inquiry, engaging with topics and themes in the histories of disability in the United States from the 19th to the 21st centuries. Students will participate in synchronous or asynchronous discussions, write short responses to the readings, and complete a final paper of 4-5 pages or a project in another format. We will read two books and additional articles: Adria Imada, An Archive of Skin, An Archive of Kin: Disability and Life-Making during Medical Incarceration (2022); Antonia Hylton, Madness: Race and Insanity in a Jim Crow Asylum (2024).


DIS ST / LSJ / CHID 332 B Disability and Society & B EDUC 391 A

Instructor: Jason Naranjo,


Topic: Access & Inclusion in Outdoor Recreation

Disability and Society Syllabus (canvas link)

Course modality:

·      The first in person class meeting on June 18, 11am-1pm is required.

·      In addition, 5 to 7 service learning days at parks and other outdoor recreation spaces in the Seattle area, arranged across a range of activities. 

·      Online class meeting dates will be: Fridays 7/19, 8/2, 8/16 from 11am to 1pm.

·      Online sessions will be captioned, recorded and transcribed to maximize accessibility.  

Course description: Apply learning from the field of disability studies by making outdoor play and recreation accessible to people with disabilities. This course focuses on service learning in partnership with the Outdoors for All Foundation. Days and times of service-learning in the community will depend on the recreational activities you choose to support. Choice of activities will depend on your experience with activities offered and the needs of Outdoors for All. This course is designed to provide you with an opportunity to apply learning from the field of Disability Studies in the community with people with disability. Through use of service-learning, academic texts, and contemporary media we will explore the following areas of study: a) access & barriers to inclusive play and recreation, b) allyship and social change, and c) the importance of outdoor play and recreation across the lifespan.


DIS ST 360 Redesigning Humanity: Disability in Speculative Fiction

Instructor: Joanne Woiak,


Redesigning Humanity Syllabus (canvas link)

Distance Learning course delivery plan: 

·      Synchronous class meetings on Zoom, Mondays & Wednesdays, 10:20am-12:10pm

·      This class can be completed asynchronously.

Course description: Octavia Butler set her SF novel Parable of the Sower in the year 2024 in a dystopian United States devastated by climate collapse, racist violence, and economic crisis. This course will analyze SF texts - centering stories and novels by Black disabled authors, as well as several films - that use speculative settings and nonrealist conventions to comment on contemporary social issues and bioethical debates. By focusing on the connection between speculative fiction, the field of disability studies (DS), and the work of BIPOC and queer Disability Justice (DJ) activists and scholars, the course will consider representations of disability and neurodivergence, including intersections of racism and ableism, in which authors and readers create new meanings of accessibility, identity, community, family, justice, normal, and human. Students will participate in synchronous or asynchronous discussions, write short responses to the readings and films, and complete a final paper of 4-5 pages or a project in another format. We will read two novels and several short stories: Octavia E. Butler, Parable of the Sower (1993); Rivers Solomon, An Unkindness of Ghosts (2017).


DIS ST 300 Disability Studies in Education

Instructor: Jason Naranjo,


Disability Studies in Education Syllabus (canvas link)

Course Meeting Time and Modality:

·      Synchronous on Zoom Monday & Wednesday 10:00am-Noon

·      Asynchronous, Tuesday & Thursday.  All class meetings will have transcript and recording. 

Course description: This course is designed to provide you with a place to examine history, theory, values, and assumptions about disability in the contexts of schools and society. This course will explore how disability is defined within our educational system and in society at large. We will be joined weekly by guest speakers who will share their lived experiences and perspectives on the topics at hand (scholars, teachers, parents, students, and activists). We will focus our learning in the following areas of inquiry: a) historical and theoretical foundations for defining disability, b) disability in the context of public schooling, c) the relationship between disability, social change, and equitable access to opportunity. The primary goal of this course is to develop a critical understanding of how disability is situated in the contexts of schools and society.


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