Courses: Portraits of Disability and Difference (WRPRH118A01)

Fall 2013

Rosemarie Garland-Thomson writes that "staring is an interrogative gesture that asks whats going on and demands the story. The eyes hang on, working to recognize what seems illegible, order what seems unruly, know what seems strange." In this seminar we will explore visual and literary portraits and self-portraits of bodies marked by difference, bodies that often elicit stares. We will ask: What kinds of stories are told about these bodies? How do memoirs and self-portraits by people with disabilities draw on and challenge traditions of life writing and portraiture? How does this work enlarge cultural and aesthetic views of embodiment, disability, and difference? What strategies do writers and artists employ to represent invisible disability and interior bodily space? How do portraits of disability engage differences of gender, race, and class? Through close readings of essays, memoirs, paintings, and photographs, students will hone their descriptive and interpretive skills and develop their ability to craft clear and persuasive arguments. [Carries Humanities divisional credit.]

Prerequisites: Open only to first-year students as assigned by the Director of College Writing.

Fulfills: HU FW Limit:12


Haverford, Link 205

Meeting Times

TTh 2:30-4:00