Race and Disability in American History and Literature

AHA Session 119
Disability History Association 2
Saturday, January 4, 2020: 1:30 PM-3:00 PM
Murray Hill West (New York Hilton, Second Floor)
Steven Noll, University of Florida
Steven Noll, University of Florida

Session Abstract

This session will examine the intersection of race and disability in the broad swath of American history and literature by examining the shifting meanings of these terms and how literature both reflected and shaped those changes. It will examine the very meanings of “race” and “disability” and how they change (or do not change) over time. It will also analyze the institution of slavery as a disabling construct in and of itself, and how various forms of literature, from novels to prescriptive literature, utilize the concepts of both race and disability to reach their audiences. The session builds on the development of a multi-disciplinary team taught upper level undergraduate course at the University of Florida first offered in the spring of 2019. Using the insights of both the professors teaching this course (one in English and the other in History, both of whom are participating on this panel) and the other panel members (all of whose works were read by student in the class), the session aims to provide a forum for the use of research to engage both a scholarly audience and develop strategies for incorporating multi-disciplinary techniques in teaching.
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