Welcome to Disability Studies at Wesleyan University.
Disability Studies is an interdisciplinary field that studies the systems of classification—medical, legal, social, cultural, historical—that organize bodily and psychological difference. Scholars in Disability Studies begin from the perspective that definitions of dis/ability vary historically and cross-culturally, and that bodily norms derived from these definitions have political, social, and economic ramifications for both disabled and nondisabled people. The field explores disability as a social and historical construction, a political identity, and a lived experience.
The Disability Studies course cluster at Wesleyan highlights courses across all divisions that explore disability from a wide range of perspectives. Courses in the cluster give students an introduction to the historical origins of disability, social and scientific classifications of embodied difference, artistic and literary representations of disability, and ongoing political struggles around access, power, and normalization. New directions in Disability Studies include questions of ethics and interdependence, global and local disparities in health and illness, human-animal boundaries, and intersections of disability justice with race, gender, sexuality, age, and other embodied forms of power.