When: Thursday May 3, 2007 from 11:30 to 1:30
Where: Student Union Redington Restaurant
To learn more about the Disability Studies
Collaborative, please visit the website:
Michael A. Rembis, Ph.D.
Coordinator, Disability Studies Collaborative
Adjunct Faculty, Department of History
University of Arizona
Tel: (520)626-9559 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (520)626-9559 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Date: April 24, 2007
Disability Studies is quickly becoming a prominent feature at some of the most forward thinking colleges and universities. Currently more than 30 such programs exist at institutions located across North America and the United Kingdom.
The proliferation of these programs reflects a definite trend toward the incorporation of persons with disabilities, as well as disability-related issues and research, into the larger society and the burgeoning body of scholarship that explores human variation and exposes systems of power and marginalization.
The University of Arizona has established "The Disability Studies Collaborative" to explore this new field and engage faculty from across campus in incorporating this intellectual program into their teaching and research.
The Collaborative will host its first annual luncheon to discuss Disability Studies, why it matters, and how the UA is uniquely positioned to become a leader in this field in the southwestern United States.
Michael A. Rembis, a UA adjunct faculty with a doctorate in history and the coordinator of the Disability Studies Collaborative is excited about the program’s possibilities. “The UA is already recognized as a University Center of Excellence on Developmental Disabilities. What the university, the state, and the region need are social science and humanities courses in disability studies and eventually the creation of an undergraduate degree in disability studies.”
The meeting on May 3 is an opportunity to raise awareness and assess what is currently being offered at the UA, and to gauge general interest in providing future courses in disabilities studies. “Now we are meeting to discuss scheduling classes and the development of course curricula. We know that faculty are currently incorporating the ideas of disability studies into their teaching but now we’d like to create classes with disability studies as a central focus—not an add on.”
Rembis is looking forward to developing curricula and seeing classes taught. “There are established models to build from and a lot of scholarship on disability studies with a basis in sociology and history, as well as other social sciences and humanities. Disability studies reorganizes the way people look at the world by studying disability in a more social, political, and intellectual context that moves away from a medical rehabilitation approach,” he added.
Rembis himself teaches history and incorporates race, gender, ethnicity and disability into his courses but next school year he will teach the UA’s first class specifically on the history of disability in a global context.
The Collaborative is open to any student, faculty, administrator, or community member who is committed to studying the complex nature of disability, with all of its implications, as well as the more pragmatic measures that can be taken to minimize the negative personal and social consequences of disability.