ENGLISH 416 - Topics in Disability Cultures
Section: 001 Autism, Culture, and Representation
Term: FA 2013
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Public discourse on autism has reached critical mass. It's hard to open a newspaper, change a TV channel, or browse a Facebook profile without catching something about autism — the epidemic, the puzzles, the children, the charities, the discrimination. The CDC currently touts a 1 in 88 autism incidence rate; former Playboy bunnies claim that our government is poisoning children with heavy metals and dairy products; popular TV shows feature unemotional autistic characters with savant-like super powers; and college programs are molding the most autism-centric cohort of disability service professionals our country has seen to date.

With this supposed increase in autism has come an increase in texts about autism (across media, across genre), much of it volatile and emotionally charged. Our main objective in this class, then, is to consider the rhetorical import of these texts, to develop an understanding of autism as a complex and crucial part of the human experience, to examine the ways in which able-bodiedness (or neurotypicality) has become an invisible default. To that end, we'll also investigate the many important issues — legal, social, cultural, medical, political — currently at stake in the autism world, as represented in literature, film, and the blogosphere.

Readings will include autism blogs and news articles, Mark Haddon, Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Elizabeth Moon, The Speed of Dark, Mark Osteen (ed.), Autism and Representation, and Julia Bascom's (ed.) Loud Hands: Autistic People, Speaking.

Course Requirements:

Assignments will include a blog portfolio, analytical response essays, and a multimedia final project.

Intended Audience:

No data submitted

Class Format:

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ENGLISH 416 - Topics in Disability Cultures
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 1400032717
The curious incident of the dog in the night-time, Author: Mark Haddon., Publisher: Vintage Books 1st Vintag 2008
Other Textbook Editions OK.
ISBN: 1938800028
Loud Hands: Autistic People, Speaking, Author: Julia Bascom, Publisher: Autistic Self Advocacy Network 2012
Other Textbook Editions OK.
ISBN: 0805093257
The woman who dove into the heart of the world : a novel, Author: Sabina Berman ; translated by Lisa Dillman., Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. 1st U.S. e
Other Textbook Editions OK.
ISBN: 1480222852
Nothing is Right, Author: Michael Scott Monje, Jr., Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform 2012
Other Textbook Editions OK.
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