disability studies Archives - Kendall College of Arts and Sciences

disability studies

Disability, stigma and a new way to view the world

Woman with long hair wearing a black jacket while smiling with arms crossed across chest
Jan Wilson

Wellspring Professor of History Jan Wilson published Becoming Disabled: Forging a Disability View of the World, with Lexington Books, a division of Rowman Littlefield, in 2021. Using an autoethnographic approach, as well as multiple first-person accounts from disabled writers, artists and scholars, Wilson describes how becoming disabled is to forge a new consciousness and a radically new way of viewing the world.  

In Becoming Disabled, Wilson examines disability in ways that challenge dominant discourses and systems that shape and reproduce disability stigma and discrimination. Her goal in developing this book was to create alternative meanings that understand disability as a valuable human variation, that embrace human interdependency and that recognize the necessity of social support for individual flourishing and happiness. Through this collection, Wilson offers a powerful vision of a society in which all forms of human diversity are included and celebrated and one in which we are better able to care for ourselves and each other.  

Cover of a book with the words Becoming DisabledFounding disability studies scholar Rosemarie Garland-Thompson of Emory University remarked that Wilson’s book “is a revelation for all of us about how what we learn to think of as the limitations and problems we call disabilities can become a source of understanding and human solidarity that deepens our relationships with one another and strengthens our human bonds.”