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21W.S61 Writing for Neurodiversity and Disability

Kym Ragusa
TR10-11:30 2-103

There are over one billion people living with disabilities around the world; disabled people and neurodivergent people make up 15 percent of the world population and represent its largest minority community. In this course, we will explore disability and neurodiversity from the perspective of disabled and neurodivergent journalists, researchers, creative writers, activists, and performers. We will investigate medical, social, and other models of disability, paying close attention to the complex interconnections between race, gender, class, sexuality, religion, indigeneity, and immigration status within each of these models. Over the course of the semester, we will investigate themes of access, visibility/invisibility, community, vulnerability, power, and creativity. We will base our discussions and assignments on a diverse combination of readings and digital/visual media (television shows, recorded performances, blogs, YouTube videos, TED Talks, and Instagram projects). Whenever possible, discussions will evolve based on the lived experiences of students in the class, taking the lead from the students themselves. In addition, students who are interested in pursuing fields such as medicine, robotics, neuroscience, and urban planning and architecture that impact the lives of disabled people will gain insight into their own work through the interdisciplinary framework of the course.