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The Minor

This week’s featured program is the minor in Disability Studies at Fordham University. From the website:

Fordham’s Disability Studies program helps students develop a nuanced understanding of the meanings and consequences of disability in a range of historical, cultural, socioeconomic and geographic contexts.

Where do our ideas about bodymind normativity emerge from? How do they shift across contexts? What are the effects of these ideas on our understanding of what it is to be human? Students also consider how disability intersects with other categories of identity and what understandings of communication, relationality, precarity, disadvantage, aesthetics, technology, design, and access open up when we center the knowledges and experiences of disabled people.

Throughout the program, students have opportunities to participate in events, lectures, and seminars both of the Fordham Disability Scholarship Cluster on campus and of the broader New York City community. Minors will graduate having acquired pragmatic knowledge of how to conceptualize and produce more accessible built and social environments.

All students enrolled in the minor take the Introduction to Disabilities Studies course and then personalize their studies with five elective courses in the field, at least one of which must be an Upper-Level course. 

Two Interesting Courses

NSCI 4172. Diverse Biologies/Shared Humanity

This course draws on readings and approaches from biology and literary studies to gain understanding of the diversity of human experience. Students will study the biological (genetic, metabolic, developmental, and neuronal) factors contributing to differences in human behavior, cognition, ability/disability, and appearance. Through the study of first-person narratives, poems, and other texts (including film), students will gain insight into the lived experiences of people they might not otherwise have come to know, even as they deepen their appreciation of the interdependence of self and other. Through reflection on readings in literature and science, students will come to recognize more fully what these disciplinary approaches offer to understanding our place in the world and our responsibilities to one another.

POSC 3322. Disability Law, Policy, and Advocacy

This course challenges students to think critically and form their own opinions about the desirability or undesirability of various disability laws and policies. Students will propose their own model policies, choose between priority areas for disability rights advocacy, pick the most effective ways of achieving reforms, and identify the most persuasive arguments for doing so. Topics may include eugenics and immigration, guardianship, institutionalization, mass incarceration, school segregation, civil commitment, privacy, fat rights, medical research, disability affirmative action, conflicts and coalitions with other social movements and within the disability community, and COVID-19.

Five Possible Complementary Majors at Fordham University

Unique Opportunities within the Minor

Fordham University is home to the interdisciplinary Research Consortium on Disability, which houses the Disability Data Initiative. The Consortium also hosts the annual Interdisciplinary Seminar Series.

Sample Similar Programs