Course Description

Course Name

Issues in United States History

Session: VDNS3121

Hours & Credits

18 Credit Points

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


A critical examination of an issue or period in American history. (In 2016: ?Freaks and Normals: US History as Disability History?. Demonstrates how the concepts related to disability permeate American history.)

This paper focuses on a particular topic in the history of the United States. Currently, the focus is reflected in the title: Freaks and Normals: U.S. History as Disability History. In other words, the paper traces the history of freakery, normality and other ideas about disability through American history, demonstrating the truth of historian Doug Baynton's assertion that "disability is everywhere in history, once you begin looking for it".

Learning Outcomes
- To develop an ability to ask significant questions, to interpret and evaluate primary and secondary sources and to express ideas in a logical, concise manner
- To promote skills in teamwork and oral communication
- To gain an appreciation for the diversity of experience in American history beyond familiar categories of race, class, gender and sexual orientation
- To understand how and why seemingly immutable biological conditions are in fact socially constructed and what that means
- And, ultimately, to grapple with the fundamental question underlying all study in the humanities - as well as much of the social and biological sciences: what does it mean to be "human"?

Course materials will be made available electronically

*Course content subject to change