Obermann Special Topics Seminar: Misfitting: Disability Broadly Considered, Spring 2019

Graduate Seminar
Misfitting: Disability Broadly Considered
Course Instructors: Douglas Baynton & Tricia Zebrowski

In this 1-hour readings course, we read, considered, and discussed recent work by six of the leading scholars in disability studies in the humanities. Thus prepared for informed participation, we met and listened to the scholars in person at the Obermann Humanities Symposium, “Misfitting: Disability Broadly Considered,” at the University of Iowa, April 4-6, 2019. Finally, we convened once more to critically discuss disability studies in light of what we learned at the symposium.

The course entailed three meetings prior to the symposium, engaged participation in the symposium, and one follow-up meeting. Readings ranged across various disciplines, including English literature, music, gender studies, rhetoric, anthropology, history, and bioethics. Written assignments included proposed discussion questions for the symposium speakers and brief reflections afterward.

The course met on Wednesdays from 3:30-5:00 on March 13, March 27, April 3, and April 10. Participation in the symposium was required.

color headshot of Douglas Baynton
Co-director , University of Iowa , History
Doug Baynton is Professor Emeritus of History. His primary interest is the history of disability in the United States. His research and teaching explore how the cultural meanings of disabilities have changed over time, with particular interest in how the concept of disability can shed light on our understanding of such topics as nativism, eugenics, racial stereotyping, gender roles, and ideas of progress and decline, civilization, and nature.
Co-director , University of Iowa , Communication Sciences and Disorders
Zebrowski studies the problem of stuttering, from onset through treatment. During her residence at Obermann, she worked on the application of the Transtheoretical Model of behavior change (TTM) to develop relapse prevention strategies for adolescents who stutter. Building upon basic and applied research using the TTM to develop interventions for a wide range of clinical populations, the specific aim of her exploratory project was to develop and validate three new measurement scales for the key constructs of the TTM.