Teaching Disability: Global Approaches

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Northeast Modern Language Assocciation
contact email: 

This roundtable explores three questions concerning the teaching of disability literature: Is there an ideal curriculum or canon of readings concerned disabled people? Are there cultural differences from country/region to country/region in either the representation or teaching of disability literature? Do experienced teachers of disability literature have lessons learned to share with their NeMLA colleagues?


As a comparative literature roundtable, we want to be as inconclusive as possible, looking at English and non-English authors, curricula, and approaches. The language of instruction in this roundtable but the chair will co-ordinate hands-outs and translations.

This is a director’s sponsored roundtable; volunteers to chair the session are welcome.


Our three roundtable questions contained underlying, quite complex themes in order to allow session participants a maximum of amount of freedom to explore topics as they wish. No one is obliged to answer all the questions; participants may slant their presentations as they wish. For example, if a panelist simply wants to share successful experiences that is fine.


This panel is open to the study of disability in film, poetry, and the essay.


A few possible more specific avenues of exploration might include:


· The examination of precise work: what is the role of disability in “The Death of Ivan Illych” by Tolstoy? Does this work qualify as a work of disability literature? Strengths and Weaknesses of “The Country of the Blind” by H.G. Wells? Disability in “Othello.”


· A comparative study of two works: Blindness in “Jane Eyre” and “Country of the Blind” by H.G. Wells


· Social and cultural backgrounds of the representation of disability. Does “Public Transit” by John Hockenberry reflect social and cultural values of the United States?


· An examination of disability by different authors of the same language, Günter Grass in “Bleichtrommel” and “Der kleine Herr Friedemann “ by Thomas Mann, for example.


- Examinations of important commentators and presenters of disability, such as Tom Shakespeare.



Please submit a 100-150 word abstract to the NeMLA Portal