Teaching disability studies

Yay, a post! I miss writing in this blog. Hello, blog.

I figure that a good post-hiatus post might involve what I’ve been up to lately that is non-dissertation — that is, teaching. This past quarter, I taught an undergraduate section of Intro to Disability Studies, the second time I’ve taught this course. And in the fall I’m teaching a special topics in literature course called Authoring Autism. I kind of figure that folks who read my blog will have a lot to say about the autism class in particular.

My course poster for Authoring Autism. The top portion reads, "What do these authors have in common?" Beneath the text are photos of Emily Dickinson, George Orwell, and William Butler Yeats. The text beneath the images reads, "Retrodiagnosis. Some PhD thinks they might have been autistic."

Above is an image of my course flyer — I’ve been posting these across campus. I decided on going the “famous people who might have been autistic” route not because I like to retrodiagnose dead people (I loathe doing that, actually), but because 1) retrodiagnosis is one among many topics I’d like my students to critically engage this fall, and 2) I was hoping to attract students, especially from the humanities, to my class. Class enrollment is up to 18 people, which is pretty good for a special topics course. < /explanation>

I’ve drafted a syllabus for the course, which you can find here in PDF format. I’d like to emphasize that it’s a rough draft, and I’m already making changes in the assignments, schedule, and readings (i.e., I’m adding in materials from the neurodiversity special issue of DSQ, giving students more memoirs to choose from, figuring out potential guest speakers, etc.). I’ve also included my course description behind the cut — at root, this is a course that considers how autism and autistic people are represented across media.

I am, however, open to suggestions. Ohio State terms run 10 weeks in length, so we’re limited with our time. But I’d very much like to find out what others in the blogosphere would like to see in a class like this.

Continue reading Teaching disability studies

On Teaching

Sometimes, I’m really surprised that I can talk at all, surprised that I actually have a voice. When I teach, I feel so different and utterly disconnected from who I am in reality. I suddenly don the mask of being social, of being talkative.