This course will explore how autism as both a medical diagnosis and a social category has gained significance over the past forty years. The course will situate the study of autism in the broader framework of the disability rights movement. We will consider the evidence for its characterization as an “epidemic” and how medical experts, parents, and autistic individuals have challenged and collaborated with each other. The study of autism will also be viewed in relation to wide-ranging political concerns, including vaccination and public health, economic costs of care, gender identities, and the growth of bio-medical power.
This course fulfills a requirement for the Five College Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice (RHRJ) certificate.
Requisite: An Introductory course in POSC or its equivalent. Limited to 18 students. Fall semester. Professor Bumiller.