CCCC 2011 Panel: "Constructions of Disability in the Composition Classroom" (4/25)

full name / name of organization: 
Julie Nelson / University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
contact email: 

The CCCC Position Statement on disability (adopted in 2006) states that disability studies is especially useful in critiquing definitions and representations of normalcy: "The questions posed by disability studies ask us to rethink language, the body, the environment, identity, culture, power, and the nature of knowledge itself, enabling a meaningful engagement at multiple levels: bodily, personal, social, cultural, and political."

This panel examines how disability studies can be used in composition courses to help students further complicate their understandings of ability and disability in the writing classroom and beyond.

In addition to considering the ways in which "disability" is defined and represented in the composition classroom, the panel will also explore how theories of disability can be used to inform our pedagogy and scholarship.

Possible topics may include but are not limited to:

Rethinking language

  • Definitions of disability in the classroom
  • Instructors or students who are labeled as disabled

Rethinking the body

  • Instructor or student perceptions of disability
  • Particular instances of (perceived) physical, developmental, or learning disabilities

Rethinking power

  • Departmental disability policies (stated and implied)

Rethinking the environment and culture

  • Pedagogical practices

Please submit an abstract of no more than 250 words by April 25, 2010.