FYS 101 Disruptive Bodies: Gender, Disability, & Social Norms
This course will explore ideas regarding femininity, masculinity, and disability in contemporary culture
and in earlier periods. What kinds of overt or unspoken assumptions affect the way we respond to bodies
that are supposedly impaired and/or deviant in some way? How do literature, art, film, technology, and
other media affect the way we think about bodies? In what ways do the histories of the disability rights
movement and of feminism overlap, and in what ways do they differ?
We will work with a wide variety of resources, including Shakespeare's Richard III, the film 300,
advertisements for Barbie dolls and plastic surgery services, and the terrific websites Nineteenth Century
Disability: Cultures and Contexts and Life and Limb: The Toll of the American Civil War. Students will be
encouraged to develop research projects that reflect their own interests in physical (and, perhaps, mental)
standards of so-called "normalcy."