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Indian Institute of Technology Madras

Disability Studies: an introduction

Indian Institute of Technology Madras and NPTEL via Swayam


Objectives:A) The course offers a general introduction to the field of Disability Studies,B) It explores disability’s capacity to offer special frameworks in the interpretation of knowledge domains such as medicine, andC) it explores the ways and means with which disability transpires into an interdisciplinary phenomenon in a way much broader than a mere identity marker.Course description:Moving away from a viewpoint that disability is a mere lack and a restricted bodily condition, this course defines the phenomenon as a knowledge domain, lived reality, as much as an interpretative framework. The course contains four modules running for 8 weeks.An introductory module may expose students to various frameworks and approaches to disability. The second module entitled “Key concepts” is a survey of foundational concepts connected to Disability Studies. Module three is “Disabilities, ideas, and disciplines”. Among other things, this module is replete with cutting-edge interviews with specialists across the globe. The fourth module is “Literature, Disability and Health”. Here, disability emerges as a cluster of frameworks for studying literature, and human lives at large.
INTENDED AUDIENCE:Students pursuing: B.E., B.Tech., BA/MA, Medicine and allied courses, Rehabilitation and Special EducationPREREQUISITES: Nil.



Week 1: Introduction Disability Definition: An Evolving Phenomenon, Medical Model of Disability, Social Model of Disability:
Part 1, Social Model of Disability: Part 2, Stigma: A Universal Phenomenon, Stigma and Disability: What can we learn?Week 2: Key Concepts:, Ableism Part 1, Ableism Part 2, Disability Activism, Models of Disability Activism, Dependency, InterdependencyWeek 3: Key Concepts:, , Blindness, Blindness as metaphor, Eugenics, Disability Pride, Disability Resilience, Disability Passing, Coming out: A performance in disability inhabitationWeek 4: Disabilities, Ideas and Disciplines: Assistive Technology: An interview with Prof. Madhusudan Rao, Disability and Ethnography:
An Interview with Prof. James Staple, Week 5: Disabilities, Ideas and Disciplines: Schizophrenia: A Personal Account – An interview with Reshma Valliappan, Autism and
the Indian Family: An interview with Dr. Shubhangi VaidhyaWeek 6: Disabilities, Ideas and Disciplines: Dyslexia and the Modern University: An Interview with Prof Tanya Titchkosky, Gender
and Disability: Interviews with Prof. Anita Ghai and Prof. Nandini Ghosh
Week 7: Disabilities, Ideas and Disciplines: The Normal and its End: An interview with Prof. Lenard Davis, Literary Disability Studies:
An Interview with Dr. Shilpa Anand, What is Deaf Culture? An Interview with Dr. Michele Friedner,Week 8: Literature and Disability: Disability and Life Writing (1/2 hour), Disability and Metaphor (1/2 hour), Conclusion (1/2 hour).

Taught by

Prof. Hemachandran Karah

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