ENGLISH 316 - Disability Studies
Winter 2023, Section 001 - Neurodiversity in Literature and Film
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 1/4/23 - 4/18/23 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


In recent years, the neurodiversity movement has redefined autism and other forms of neurodivergence from a medical diagnosis to a natural expression of human mental life, an identity, a people, an aesthetic, a visual-spatial intelligence, a rhetoric, and a challenge to long-standing assumptions about the division between minds and bodies. This course will introduce students to forms of artistic and literary expression rooted in neuroatypicality by exploring English-language experiments in poetry, film, television, memoirs, and essays by autistic people and those with other neuroatypicalities. We will investigate what neurodiversity has been and what it is becoming; the relationship between historical constructions of autism and computing; and the political, social, and aesthetic implications of neurodiversity’s central demands. What new world does the neurodiversity movement imagine? What kind of creative expression does neurodiversity invite, and how has mainstream culture absorbed and responded to the neurodiversity movement? Finally, what does neurodiversity do to reigning notions of what it means to be human? 

We will read foundational literature by Herman Melville and Emily Dickinson; memoirs by Temple Grandin and Rachel Simon; and neuro-fiction by Octavia Butler and Richard Powers. We will discuss the neuroqueer humor in Hannah Gadsby’s Douglas, explore the android-as-metaphor trope in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Blade Runner, and much more.

This course will satisfy the following English major/minor requirements: American Literature + Identity/Difference


ENGLISH 316 - Disability Studies
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM
1/4/23 - 4/18/23

Textbooks/Other Materials

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