CDIS 5100 6

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CDIS 5100 6

    Revised on: September 8, 2009

    Faculty of Graduate Studies

    Critical Disability Studies Graduate Program

    CDIS 5100 6.0: Disability Studies: An Overview

    (Fall 2009)

    Course Outline

Course Directors: Nancy Halifax, Geoffrey Reaume (Fall) & Denise Nepveux (Winter)

    Class Time: September 15 to December 8

    Tuesday, 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm

    Venue: Room 1156, Vari Hall

    The best reparation for the suffering of victims and communities and the

    highest recognition of their efforts is the transformation of our society into

    one that makes a living reality of the human rights for which they struggled.

     Nelson Mandela,

     Civilization Magazine, June 1999

    It then occurred to me that the right to be the same … and the right to be

    different … were not opposed to each other. On the contrary, the right to be

    the same in terms of fundamental civil, political, legal, economic and social

    rights, provided the foundation for the expression of difference through

    choice in the sphere of culture, lifestyle and personal priorities. In other

    words, provided that difference was not used to maintain inequality,

    subordination, injustice and marginalisation.

     Albie Sachs,

     Human Rights in the Twenty-First Century:

     Real Dichotomies, False Antagonisms

Course Objectives

     Overall Objective: In this term, students will develop a conceptual understanding of

    the major models of disability, contemporary thinking in critical disability studies, and be able

    to apply contemporary theoretical thinking to disability studies. They will also gain familiarity

    with recent federal and international policy developments. Students will gain academic skills as

    critical thinkers as they deepen their scholarly interests in the field of Critical Disability Studies.

     Specific Objectives:

    o To develop a conceptual understanding of the various meanings of disability,

    their historical development, and conceptual contexts.

    o To understand the fundamentals of human rights and social justice and their

    impact on people with disabilities.

Expectations and Requirements

We expect that you will fully engage in the course readings prior to class and during class

    and seminar. Class participation is a vital part of this course and it is during our class

    discussions that much in/formal learning occurs so it really is important to be prepared. If

    you will be absent please let us know, and ensure that you can catch up with the missed

    material with a peer from the course. Repeated absences will lead to a lower final grade.

    Full Year Course Evaluation:

    Page 1 of 10

    Revised on: September 8, 2009

Class Participation (includes weekly journals) 20%

    Disability History Document - Primary Source Research 15% st1 Term Essay(15-18 pages, due: December 8, 2009) 25% Final Essay (15-18 pages, due: March 30, 2010) 25% Poster Presentations (semester 2) 15%


Disability History Document - Primary Source Research - Week 5 15%

    See week 2 for detailed instructions of the above.

Class Participation - Ongoing 10% & 10%

    Class participation is composed of journal submissions, contributions of questions to tutorials,

    evaluation of peer presentations, and thoughtful participation in class and tutorial. This will be

    discussed more fully in class.

Essays - Week 12 and Week 25 25% & 25%

    These essays provide opportunities for you to pursue your scholarly interests in Critical

    Disability Studies and to deepen your knowledge of the field. The suggested length are15-18

    pages, including a reference list of 15-20 citations. We will discuss these in class in greater


Helpful hint: During this semester, if you don’t already know it, learn RefWorks! It will

    save you enormous amounts of time during your time at York! If you are having problems with

    your scholarly writing use the student resources available to you at York

    ( Guidelines for papers: All papers should be handed in on time. A good paper is one that is

    written and rewritten! Extensions are not usually granted unless there is an accommodation

    request, or documented extenuating circumstances. Papers that are late will receive a

    percentage deduction of 1% per day, for a total of 7% per week. Remember, this is significant.

    Papers need to be typed on one side of the paper only, with 1-inch margins on all sides,

    double-spaced. Please use a cover sheet and list your name and course number, instructor’s name, title of assignment, and date of assignment submission. Please number each page, and

    include a running head. Staple your pages together We know, it seems obvious…. References should be formatted in a consistent style (APA). Please retain your notes and a copy of your

    paper. Do not use Wikipedia again this seems obvious, but… we write it, because it is not.

    There will be a penalty applied for using Wikipedia as a source. The penalty will be 1% per

    Wikipedia source or other non-refereed secondary source.

Assignments return policies: Assignments that are submitted when due, will be marked

    and returned to students 2 weeks after their submission unless otherwise notified; the First

    Term Essay will be returned on Tuesday, January 5, 2010. Students who want their marked

    assignments returned to them in an envelope must submit a self-addressed (and self-stamped

    if applicable) envelope with your paper.

Marking policy: Student work is evaluated with great care. Grades are not negotiable.

    Our program follows the grading and grade reappraisal policies as outlined in the Faculty of

    Graduate Studies calendar posted at


Academic Integrity: Any acts of academic dishonesty, including plagiarism, submitting

    the same paper twice, or failure to cite sources are taken seriously and handled according to

    Page 2 of 10

    Revised on: September 8, 2009 York University Policy. Please refer to the Faculty of Graduate Studies calendar posted at

Students with Disabilities

Please consult us at the earliest possible date to ensure that you can be accommodated so as to

    be able to partake fully in the course.

Office/email Hours

Students are welcome to ask questions or resolve course-related problems by contacting us via

    email, or by dropping in during scheduled office hours or by making an appointment. We each

    are also available to respond to email during scheduled hours.

Nancy’s scheduled email hours: Thursdays: between 9:00 and 11:00

    Nancy’s scheduled office hours: Tuesdays between 12:00 and 3:00

    Geoffrey’s scheduled office hours: Tuesdays: between 1:00 and 4:00 Geoffrey’s scheduled email hours: Wednesdays: between 9:00 and 11:00

Please visit these sites

    APA online style guide:

Required Books

    1. Order a Course Reader from the Canadian Scholars’ Press online at

    Alternatively, you can purchase it over the phone or in person at:

    CSPI - Custom Publishing Division

    180 Bloor Street West, Suite 801

    Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 2V6

    Tel: 416-929-2774 or 1-800-463-1998

    Fax: 416-929-1926

2. Order the following guide from the York Bookstore or other bookstores such as

    or Alternatively, you can borrow it at the Reserve Desk of Scott Library.

     Paul, R. and Elder, L. (2002). The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking: Concepts &

    Tools. Dillon Beach, CA: The Foundation for Critical Thinking.

    (Scott Library call number - BF 441 E42 2006)

    Page 3 of 10

    Revised on: September 8, 2009 Supplementary Texts (optional)

Gary Albrecht, et. al., (Eds.). (2006). Encyclopedia of Disability. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Gary L. Albrecht, Katherine D. Seelman, Michael Bury. (Eds.). (2001). Handbook of disability

    studies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

    Macy, D. (2000). Penguin dictionary of critical theory. London, UK: Penguin.

Rush, F. (Ed.) (2004). The Cambridge companion to critical theory. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge

    University Press.

Course Readings (for Fall 2009)

Lecture 1: (September 15): Overview of Overview & Introduction to Critical Disability

    Studies Scholarship

Lecturers: Nancy and Geoffrey

? General introduction to who we are; the syllabus

    ? Handout of academic journals we use in CDS

    ? General discussion of the principles of how we enact CDS in the classroom

    ? How to use Google Scholar; Introduction to critical theory

Required readings (first is in Reader; second is online):

Barnes, C., Mercer, G., & Shakespeare, T. (1999). Understanding disability. In Colin Barnes,

    Geof Mercer, Tom Shakespeare (Eds.), Exploring Disability: A Sociological Introduction

    (pp. 10-38). Malden. Mass.: Polity Press.

    Mills, C. W. (1959). The sociological imagination (excerpt).

(28 pages plus 2300 words (4 pages) = 32 pages)

    To think about: What does the Barnes, Mercer and Shakespeare article tell you about

    disability? How do you understand the differences amongst the models of disability? How

    would you use the sociological imagination to better understand disability?

    Bring to class:

    Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking.

    Your course kit.

    Definitions of disability: Please research the following documents to find definitions of

    disability: the Accessibilities for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA); International

    Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (WHO-ICF); UN Convention on Disability;


    On our week on language (October 6) we will be having a discussion regarding the use of

    language and how disability is defined in accordance with various conventions. We will be

    assigning each of you specific aspects of this research project in class; please come

    prepared with your materials.

Lecture 2 (September 22): Disability History Secondary Sources

    Page 4 of 10

    Revised on: September 8, 2009

Lecturer: Geoffrey

Required readings (all are in Reader):

Lynn, Rose, M. (2006). History of Disability: Ancient West. In Gary Albrecht, et. al., (Eds.),

    Encyclopedia of Disability (Vol. 2, pp. 852-855). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Schalick, Walton O. (2006). History of Disability: Medieval West. In Gary Albrecht, et. al.,

    (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Disability (Vol. 2, pp. 868-873). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Hudson, Geoffrey L. (2006). History of Disability: Early Modern West. In Gary Albrecht, et. al.,

    (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Disability (Vol. 2, pp. 855-858). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Kim, Eunjung. (2006). History of Disability: Korea. In Gary Albrecht, et. al., (Eds.),

    Encyclopedia of Disability (Vol. 2, pp. 858-864). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage

Mitchell David T., Snyder, Sharon L. (2006). History of Disability: Representations of Disability.

    In Gary Albrecht, et. al., (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Disability (Vol. 3, pp. 1382-1394).

    Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Baynton, Douglas. (2001). Disability and the Justification of Inequality in American History. In

    Paul Longmore and Lauri Umansky, (Eds.), The New Disability History: American

    Perspectives (pp. 33-57). New York, NY: New York University Press.

Dubinsky, Karen. (1998). Telling Stories about Dead People. In Franca Iacovetta and Wendy

    Mitchinson, (Eds.), On the Case: Explorations in Social History (pp. 359-366). Toronto:

    University of Toronto Press.

    (54 pages)

    * Burch, Susan. (Ed.). (2009). Encyclopedia of American Disability History. New York: Facts on File. [Due to publication date, this source is not required reading but students will be made

    aware of it as a potential secondary source.]

    Assignment for next week, September 29: Students are to go the web site of the

    Archives of Ontario (see below) and locate one primary source document on disability

    history. For example, search the word “asylum” in the “Archives Descriptive Database” on

    the web site. Hundreds of documents will appear. Choose one which is publicly available

    (check to see if there are access restrictions before making your choice). Print out the page

    on which you have found this source and bring it to class next week when we will be visiting

    the Archives of Ontario.

    You can learn more from the archivist about the source you chose and how you can find it.

    After you have located and studied this source in the Archives of Ontario, write a two page,

    double spaced description (500 words) of this document and how it relates to the history of

    people with disabilities in Ontario.

    Due date: Class 5 - Tuesday, October 20

    Page 5 of 10

    Revised on: September 8, 2009 Lecture 3 (September 29): Disability History Primary Sources

Lecturers: Archivist and Geoffrey

Visit to the Archives of Ontario for the first half of class. Bring a print out of the

    document you have located on the archives’ web site. We will meet in the Archives of

    Ontario, first floor classroom, 134 Ian Macdonald Boulevard (just east of York Lanes).

Required readings for tutorial after visiting the Archives of Ontario:

    Phoenix Rising: The Outspoken Voice of Psychiatric Inmates, Vol. 1, Issue 1 (1980), 28 pages.

Goode, Barbara. (1996). It’s Been a Struggle: Her Own Story. In Gunnar Dybwad, Hank Bersani,

    Jr., (Eds.), New Voices: Self Advocacy by People with Disabilities (pp. 37-50).

    Cambridge, Massachusetts: Brookline Books. Reader.

    (41 pages)

     How can these two sources be used to learn about disability history?

Lecture 4 (October 6): Disability Language

Lecturer: Nancy

Required readings (all are in Reader):

Byron, M., Cockshott, Z., Brownett, H., and Ramkalawan, T. (2005). What does 'disability'

    mean for medical students? An exploration of the words medical students associate with

    the term 'disability'. Medical Education, 39, 2:176-183.

     Download from York eresources.

    Linton, S. (1998). Claiming Disability: Knowledge and Identity (pp. 8-33). New York, NY: New

    York University Press.

Dajani, K.F. (2001). What is in a Name? Terms Used to Refer to People with Disabilities.

    Disability Studies Quarterly, 21:3, unpaginated.

     Download from York eresources.

Stockholder, F.E. (1994) Naming and Renaming Persons with Intellectual Disabilities. In Marcia

    Rioux & Michael Bach, (Eds.), Disability is not Measles: New Research Paradigms in

    Disability (pp. 154-179). North York, Ontario: Roeher Institute.

Snyder, S.L. & Mitchell, D.T. (2006) Language of Disability. In Gary Albrecht, et. al., (Eds.)

    Encyclopedia of Disability, (Vol. 3, pp. 1018-1024). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

    (64 pages, not including Dajani)

    Discussion on definitions of disability.


    Page 6 of 10

    Revised on: September 8, 2009 Lecture 5 (October 20): Intersecting Models of Disability I

Lecturer: Nancy

Video: The Sterilization of Leilani Muir, (1996). NFB.

Required readings (all are in Reader):

    Erevelles, N. (2006). “Postcolonialism.” In Gary Albrecht, et. al., (Eds.) Encyclopedia of

    Disability, (Vol. 3, pp. 1276 -1280). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Dossa, P. (2008). Creating Alternative and Demedicalized Spaces: Testimonial Narrative on

    Disability, Culture, and Racialization. Journal of International Women’s Studies, 9 (3):


     Download from York eresources.

    Grekul, J., Krahn, H., and Odynak, D. (2004). Sterilizing the “Feeble-minded”: Eugenics in

    Alberta, Canada, 19291972. Journal of Historical Sociology, 17, 4: 358-384.

     Download from York eresources.

    Hanchiruk, Dianne. (2006). Personally Speaking. In Karin Melberg Schwier, (Ed.), Hear My

    Voice: Stories Told by Albertans with Developmental Disabilities Who Were Once

    Institutionalized (pp. 40-49). Edmonton, AB: Alberta Association for Community Living.

    Meekosha, H. (2006). “Gender, International.” In Gary Albrecht, et. al., (Eds.) Encyclopedia of

    Disability, (Vol. 2, pp. 764 -769). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

    Peters, K. E. and Opacich, K. (2006). “Gender.” In Gary Albrecht, et. Al., (Eds.) Encyclopedia of

    Disability, (Vol. 2 pp. 760 -764). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Stubblefield, A. (2007). “Beyond the Pale”: Tainted Whiteness, Cognitive Disability, and Eugenic

    Sterilization. Hypatia, 22, 2: 162-181.

     Download from York eresources.

(86 pages)

Supplementary Readings (optional):

Jones, M. & Basser Marks, L.A. (2000). Valuing people through law: Whatever happened to

    Marion? Law in Context, 17(2), 147-180.

Muir v. Alberta, 1996 CanLII 7287 (AB Q.B.)


Schmidt, S. (2002). Sandra's choice. Elm Street, pp.48-58.

    Lecture 6 (October 27): Disability as Oppression and Identity

Guest Lecturer: Professor Denise Nepveux

Required readings (all are in Reader):

    Young, I. M. (1990). Five faces of oppression. In Justice and the Politics of Difference (pp. 39-

    65). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Charlton, J. (2006). The dimensions of disability oppression: An overview. In L. Davis (Ed.), ndDisability Studies Reader, 2 ed. pp. 217- 227. New York, NY: Routledge.

    Page 7 of 10

    Revised on: September 8, 2009 Rice, C., Zitzelsberger, H., Porch, W., Ignagni, E. (2004) Creating Community across Disability

    and Difference. Canadian Woman Studies 24,1: 187-194.

     Download from York eresources.

Squier, Susan Merrill. (2004). Meditation, Disability, and Identity. Literature and Medicine, 23,1


     Download from York eresources.

    Lecture 7 (November 3): Intersecting Models of Disability II

Lecturer: Geoffrey

Required readings (all are in Reader):

    Oliver, M. (1990). The politics of disablement: A sociological approach. New York: St. Martin's

    Press: Chapters 1 and 2. Sheldon, A. (2005) One World, One People, One Struggle? Towards the global implementation

    of the social model of disability, in Colin Barnes & Geof Mercer (eds.) The Social Model of

    Disability: Europe and the Majority World. Leeds: Disability Press: 115-130

    Shakespeare, T. (2006, 2007). The family of social approaches. In Disability Rights and

    Wrongs (pp. 9-28). London, UK: Routledge.

Supplementary Reading (optional):

Sheldon, Alison, Traustadottir, Rannveig, Beresford, Peter, Boxall, Kathy, and Oliver, Mike.

    (2007). Disability Rights and Wrongs: Review Symposium. Disability and Society, 22,2:


    Lecture 8 (November 10): Introduction to Human Rights and Disability

Guest Speaker: Professor Marcia Rioux

    Website: Disability Rights Promotion International (DRPI) ( home website of international collaborative project working to establish monitoring systems to

    address disability discrimination globally. Links also to local DRPI sites in Australia, Cameroon,

    Croatia, India, Kenya and Sweden. See specific country report on Philippines

    Required readings (some are online; others are in Reader):

United Nations (December 13, 2006). Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and

    Optional Protocol.

Quinn, G. & Degener T. (2002). The moral authority for change: human rights values and the

    worldwide process of disability reform. In G. Quinn& T. Degener et al (eds.), Human

    Rights and Disability: The current use and future potential of United Nations human

    rights instruments in the context of disability (Ch.1). New York, Geneva: United Nations

Rioux, M. (2003). On Second Thought: Constructing Knowledge, Law, Disability and Inequality.

    In Herr, S.S., Gostin, L.O. & Koh, H.H. (Eds.), The human rights of persons with

    intellectual disabilities different but equal (pp. 287-317). London, UK: Oxford

    University Press.

    Page 8 of 10

    Revised on: September 8, 2009

Mental Disability Rights International (2007). Torment not treatment: Serbia’s segregation and

    abuse of children and adults with disabilities. Washington, DC.

    Bob, C. (2009). Introduction: Fighting for New Rights. In C. Bob, (Ed.), The International

    Struggle for New Human Rights (pp. 1-13). Philadelphia, USA: University of

    Pennsylvania Press.

Supplementary Readings (optional):

UN Enable -

Thomas, P. (June 2005). Mainstreaming disability in development: India country report.

    Disability KaR.

Kampf, A. (2008). The Disabilities Convention and its Consequences for Mental Health Laws in

    Australia. In B. McSherry (Ed.), Law in Context Special Issue: International Trends in

    Mental Health Laws, 26(2). Australia: The Federation Press, 10-36.

    Lecture 9 (November 17): Intersecting Models of Disability III

Lecturer: Geoffrey

Required readings (all are in Reader):

    Titchkosky, T. (2000) Disability Studies: The Old and the New, Canadian Journal of Sociology:

    (25) 2 197-224.

    Download from York eresources.

    McRuer, R. & Wilkerson, A.L. (2003), Introduction: Cripping the (Queer) Nation, GLQ: A Journal

    of Lesbian and Gay Studies 9: 1-2: 1-23

    Download from York eresources.

    Kumari Campbell, F.A. Exploring internalized ableism using critical race theory, Disability & Society

    23:2 (March 2008)151-162.

    Download from York eresources (ejournals).

    Lecture 10 (November 24): Disability Models in Medicine and Rehabilitation

Lecturer: Nancy

Required readings (all are in Reader):

Davis, L. (2006). Constructing normalcy: The bell curve, the novel, and the invention of the

    disabled body in the nineteenth century. The Disability Studies Reader, 3-16. New York,

    NY: Taylor and Francis.

French, S. and Swain, J. (2001). The relationship between disabled people and health and

    welfare professionls. In (Eds). G. L. Albrecht, K. D. Seelman, & M. Bury, Handbook of

    Disability Studies, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Giangreco, M. F. (1995). "The Stairs Don't Go Anywhere!" A Self-Advocate's Reflections on

    Specialized Services and Their Impact on People with Disabilities. An Interview with

    Norman Kunc.

    Page 9 of 10

    Revised on: September 8, 2009 Samson, C. (1999). Biomedicine and the body (pp. 3-21). In (Ed.) C. Samson, Health studies:

    A critical and cross-cultural reader.

    Stiker, H. (1982/1997). The birth of rehabilitation. In A history of disability (pp. 121-150). Ann

    Arbor, MI: University of Michigan.

    Wendell, S. (1996). The cognitive and social authority of medicine. In The rejected body (pp.


Lecture 11 (December 1): Disability Movements, Independent Living and Disability


Lecturer: Geoffrey

    Video: When Billy broke his head ...and other tales of wonder. Directed by: Billy Golfus &

    David E. Simpson. 57 minutes

Required readings (all are in Reader):

    Boyle, G. (2008). Autonomy in long-term care: A need, a right or a luxury? Disability & Society

    23:4 (June): 299-310.

     Download from York eresources.

Drieger, D. (1989). In the wake of change: Post-Second World War developments, 1945-1980.

    In The Last Civil Rights Movement: Disabled Peoples' International, (pp. 7-27). London:

    Hurst & Co.

    Independent Living: an Overview

Zames Fleischer, D. & Zames, F. (2001) Deinstitutionalization and Independent Living in The

    Disability Rights Movement: From Charity to Confrontation. Philadelphia: Temple

    University Press: 33-48.

    Lecture 12 (December 8): Intersecting Models of Disability IV

Lecturer: Nancy

Required readings (all are in Reader):

Asch, Adrienne (2001) Critical race theory, feminism, and disability: Reflections on social justice

    and personal identity Ohio State Law Journal, 62 (1) 391-424.

Goodwin, M. "Gender, race, and mental illness: The case of Wanda Jean Allen." In Critical Race

    Feminism: A Reader. Edited by A.K. Wing. 2nd ed. 228-237. New York, NY: New York

    University Press, 2003.

Ostrander, R. Noam. (2008). "When identities collide: masculinity, disability and race."

    Disability and Society, 23,6:585-597.

    Download from York eresources.

    Page 10 of 10

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