POLS 430 Disability, Identity and Politics

Prof. Matthew Moore will be offering a new course in Winter 2023—POLS 430: Disability, Identity and Politics.

Description of POLS 430 

The course examines ideas and texts from two social movements: the mainstream disability rights movement, which treats disability as fundamentally a problem of individual rights and discrimination; and the more radical disability justice movement, which sees disability as a central concept in any system of inequality, since such systems necessarily rely on distinguishing between those able or entitled to receive certain rights or benefits and those disabled or not entitled to receive them.  Similarly, some thinkers see disability as being about bodies/minds that are not able to do certain things, while others see it as being fundamentally about the social response to body/mind differences—on this view, the problem isn't that some people can't hear, for instance, but rather that other people wrongly assume that everyone can, and then design social life based on their assumption. As a final example, we will examine the issue of cure: whether people who are disabled need or want to be "cured," and how disability relates to technology and the transhumanist vision of humans being transformed by our relationship with it. The course promises more questions than answers, and becoming comfortable with that is part of what we will critically examine together. 


Brief Update on Matt 

Prof. Moore is currently dividing his time between the Political Science Department and serving as a faculty fellow and speechwriter in the office of the university president. He has a book chapter in press about Buddhism, morality, and democracy, as well as a forthcoming entry in the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy Online on Buddhism and politics. He and a co-editor are working on an edited volume of essays about Buddhism, democracy, and popular power. 

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