Disability Studies

The Disability Studies Program offers a minor in Disability Studies.

Over the past three decades, disability studies has emerged as a robust and vibrant field of intellectual inquiry, bringing together cutting edge research in the humanities, social sciences, and health sciences. The discipline analyzes the cultural and political significance of disability, examining the construction and production of disability in history and in the present moment. Disability studies hones critical tools to analyze how societies grapple with physical and mental difference, the way disability becomes a site for negotiating stigma and social power, and questions of normativity and deviance.

Disability is a fundamental dimension of human diversity. One in every five Americans lives with a disability, making it our country’s largest minority population. Students increasingly recognize that gaining a more sophisticated understanding of disability experience is a critical element in their education, and one that will help prepare them for a growing number of disability-specific careers. Drawing from rich offerings in disciplines as various as Anthropology, Bioethics, English, Health Systems Administration, Nursing, Philosophy, Psychology, Theater and Performance Studies, Theology, and Women’s and Gender Studies, the minor in Disability Studies will enable students to explore this critical facet of human diversity in an in-depth fashion as it relates to their major field of study and to their professional aspirations.

Additionally, Washington is home to some of the most influential institutions bearing on the experience of disability nationally and globally, encompassing the fields of law, medicine, policy, advocacy, research, and cultural production. Undergraduates come to Georgetown eager to become leaders in these fields, and they bring with them a critical humanist perspective, drawn by Georgetown’s commitment to social justice and educating the whole person. Disability Studies enables them to integrate their intellectual and professional aspirations, nurturing critical thinking and engendering a greater openness to human diversity. 

minor in disability studies

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MINOR 

Six courses are required to complete the minor in Disability Studies:

ENGL-270 Introduction to Disability Studies 
Three Disability Studies core courses 
Two elective courses that engage disability in theory or practice 

Disability studies core courses (take 3):

ANTH-256 Disability and Culture 
EDIJ-253 Children with Disabilities 
ENGL-268 Disability and the Arts 
ENGL-424 Disability Studies Seminar 
ENGL-443 Gender and Care in Modern U.S. Poetry 
PHIL-106 Bioethics and Disability 
THEO-130 Religion and Disability Studies 
WGST-239 Art, Medicine, and Gender 
WGST-234 Feminist Disability Studies 

Disability studies electives (take 2):

AFAM-315 The Psychic Holds of Slavery 
ANTH-250 Intro to Medical Anthropology 
ANTH-251 Anthropology and the Body 
BIOL-394 Genetics and Disability: Arts & Media
CULP-242 Foreign Bodies 
CULP-271 Bodies, Technology, & Violence 
EDIJ-220 Education, Equity, and Advocacy 
EDIJ-241 Seminar in Urban Education 
JCIV-175 The Holocaust: An Examination of Gender and Nazi Racial Ideology 
HSCI/HESY-160 Health Promotion and Disease Prevention 
HESY- 010 Healthcare in America 
INAF-175 Holocaust: Gender and Racial Ideology 
INAF-269 What Really Happened in the Camps 
PHIL-105 Bioethics 
PHIL-112 Gender and Feminism 
PHIL-440 Bioethics and Mental Illness 
PHIL-441 Bioethics and “Abnormal” Bodies 
PHIL-441 The Politics of Weight and Eating
PSYC-353 Culture & Psychopathology 
SOCI-111 Flourishing: College & Community 
SOCI-109 Sociology of Health and Illness 
STIA-421 Global Health Foundations 
THEO-023 Christian Initiation
THEO-028 Religion and the Body 
THEO-121 Ritual, Spirituality and Justice
THEO-122 The Church and the Poor 
WGST-141 Introduction to Sexuality Studies 
WGST-233 HIV, Culture, and Politics 
UNXD-204 and/or 205 Challenges in Childhood and Society 

The above list is not meant to be exhaustive. If students identify other courses that provide significant opportunities to engage with disability in theory or practice, they should present them to the steering committee for approval.

A maximum of two courses taken elsewhere (i.e., study abroad or summer courses) may be counted as electives in the minor, with approval of the steering committee.

Admission to the minor is by application. Admission is rolling; interested students should submit a 500-word personal statement articulating their interest in the minor to disabilitystudies@georgetown.edu.