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Critical Disability Studies Minor, Purdue University

The growing and vibrant interdisciplinary field of disability studies moves the concept of disability beyond the narrowly medical realm in order to interrogate its cultural meanings, politics, history, metaphors, and sociological effects. Disability scholars demonstrate that such seemingly natural oppositions as normal and abnormal emerge from political and historical contexts and have politically measurable consequences for individuals as well as societies. Disability studies further explores how disability is understood in literature and media, and how disabled lives are represented in all forms of art and memoir by those who live them.

Contact Information

Maren Linett, Professor of English
Founding Director of Disability Studies
Purdue University
West Lafayette IN 47907
mlinett [at] purdue [dot] edu



Maren Linett, Department of English, Director of Critical Disability Studies

Sherylyn Briller, Department of Anthropology

Yvonne Pitts, Department of History and Program in American Studies

Wendy Kline, Department of History

Brad Duerstock, Department of Industrial Engineering and Biomedical Engineering

Sharon Borkowski, American Sign Language Program, School of Languages and Culture

Angelica Duran, Department of English

Michael Salvo, Department of English


Students must take:

CDIS 239: Introduction to Disability Studies

And choose 9 credit hours from the following list:

  • ANTH 392: Anthropology of Disability
  • ANTH 340: Global Health
  • ANTH 592: Anthropology of Aging
  • ASL 280: American Deaf Community: Language, Culture, and Society
  • ENGL 439: Topics in Disability Studies
  • HIST 302: Sex, Race, and Science
  • HIST 363: History of Medicine and Public Health<
  • HIST 480: History of Madness and the Asylum
  • IE 590-AT: Assistive Technology Practice


  • Disability Studies Fall Lecture, 2018: Melanie Yergeau
  • Critical Disability Studies Symposium, February 2016: Rosemarie Garland-Thomson; Michele Friedner; Douglas, Baynton; Jennifer Barclay
  • Disability Studies Fall Lecture, 2016: Rabia Belt<
  • Disability Studies Fall Lecture, 2017: Alison Kafer