Fall 2019

Disability Media

Listed in: English, as ENGL-376  |  Film and Media Studies, as FAMS-355


Pooja G. Rangan (Section 01)


(Offered as ENGL 376 and FAMS 355) Moving image and audiovisual media frequently assume a fully able subject despite the infinite variety of our embodied capacities and debilitations. This course will explore how this assumption has shaped the design, narrative forms, audiovisual poetics, exhibition contexts, and modes of spectatorship and engagement of a range of media forms, from cinema to digital interfaces. We will examine how critical, experimental, and therapeutic approaches to media, the uses of media by people with disabilities, and media made in collaboration with disabled makers and protagonists enable us to fundamentally rethink what media can be and do. Readings will draw from disability studies and film and media studies as well as philosophy, science and technology studies, performance studies, sound studies, and other areas. Topics may include: disability tropes and rehabilitation narratives in film and TV; prostheses and “assistive” technologies; subtitles, captions, and the politics of accessibility; inclusive product and interface design; staring as spectatorial mode; sound art and polymodal listening. 

Prior coursework in ENGL or FAMS is recommended but not required. Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Open to first-year students with consent of the instructor. Limited to 25 students. Fall semester. Professor Rangan.

If Overenrolled: Priority will be given to FAMS and ENGL majors, then attention will be given to achieving a mix of majors and Five College participation. Students with disabilities interested in the class are encouraged to contact me to discuss their requirements.


Attention to Issues of Class, Attention to Issues of Gender and Sexuality, Attention to Issues of Race


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019