Universität Wien
Achtung! Das Lehrangebot ist noch nicht vollständig und wird bis Semesterbeginn laufend ergänzt.

240129 SE VM3 / VM8 - 'The world's largest minority' (2020W)

Post-colonial critique from the field of disability studies

Prüfungsimmanente Lehrveranstaltung


Hinweis: Ihr Anmeldezeitpunkt innerhalb der Frist hat keine Auswirkungen auf die Platzvergabe (kein "first come, first served").


max. 25 Teilnehmer*innen
Sprache: Englisch


Termine (iCal) - nächster Termin ist mit N markiert

The first session of the seminar will take place online via Collaborate - see link provided on the course's Moodle page. Participation in this session is compulsory for all participants. Whether the rest of the term will be conducted only online or in hybrid form can only be decided at the beginning of the term and will be communicated in session 1.

In case you have specific accessibility requirements to be able to take part, please communicate them to the lecturer no later than one week ahead of the first session.

  • Mittwoch 07.10. 09:00 - 12:00 Seminarraum SG2 Internationale Entwicklung, Sensengasse 3, Bauteil 1
  • Mittwoch 21.10. 09:00 - 12:00 Seminarraum SG2 Internationale Entwicklung, Sensengasse 3, Bauteil 1
  • Mittwoch 04.11. 09:00 - 12:00 Seminarraum SG2 Internationale Entwicklung, Sensengasse 3, Bauteil 1
  • Mittwoch 18.11. 09:00 - 12:00 Seminarraum SG2 Internationale Entwicklung, Sensengasse 3, Bauteil 1
  • Mittwoch 02.12. 09:00 - 12:00 Seminarraum SG2 Internationale Entwicklung, Sensengasse 3, Bauteil 1
  • Mittwoch 16.12. 09:00 - 12:00 Seminarraum SG2 Internationale Entwicklung, Sensengasse 3, Bauteil 1
  • Mittwoch 13.01. 09:00 - 12:00 Seminarraum SG2 Internationale Entwicklung, Sensengasse 3, Bauteil 1
  • Mittwoch 27.01. 09:00 - 12:00 Seminarraum SG2 Internationale Entwicklung, Sensengasse 3, Bauteil 1


Ziele, Inhalte und Methode der Lehrveranstaltung

Human rights debates have by now become mainstreamed instruments in international policy discourses, subject to fairly little questioning in public and political debate. Yet issues around the production and effects of ‘dis/ability’– a very broad, permeable and impermanent category – in the Majority World (Global South) are largely neglected in human rights debates and only slowly gaining discursive traction. International development is among the disciplines that are shedding light on the imbalance of rights and human rights’ peripheries.
This course introduces students to how fundamental rights have been furthered by efforts of social movements around the globe, and which theoretical streams hold epistemic power in this area of knowledge. Considering the lives and voices of persons with disabilities – estimated by the WHO to range from 10 to 20% of the world’s population – sensitises development researchers about the contingency of categories they use, their impermanence and permeability.
In this seminar, we first inspect the institutional category of ‘dis/ability’ (including dis/ableism as discriminatory practices), the geopolitics and genesis of modern human rights. Second, origins of social norms and institutional normalisation will be questioned light of a neoliberal logic and its immanent social constructions. Third, and most importantly, responses from non-dominant geographies of knowledge are to be critically inspected for the light they shine on injustice between who experiences disabling conditions, how a Global North plays part in their causation until this day, and where opportunities of reading dis/ability from the margins emerge.
Students are to critically engage with the knowledge they have already gathered. A Critical Disability Studies perspectives allows us to recognise ‘dismodernist’ (Davis 2002) perspectives on shared difference, institutional authority, socio-economic dependencies that follow corporeal and psychological differences, as well as inequalities in the “production” of dis/ability due to (neo)colonial practices, such as armed conflict, environmental pollution and migration control. Our goal is to recognise where human rights-sensitive strategies provide ground for the visibility of various vulnerabilities and needs, while at the same time veiling the geopolitical contexts in which dis/ability occurs. Development strategies are shown to have co-opted many aspects of global dis/ability discourses. Now they require constant inspection, to see how this critique of inequality and invisibility, coming in large parts from the Global South, shows effects in development programmes’ scope and promotes heightened sensitivity for extant inequalities.

Critical reading and preparation of questions in small focus groups (group reading and mutual presentation - group size dependent on number of participants);
Peer review and plenary discussion during each session;
group presentations on literature – with questions prepared to guide the discussion.
Relevant texts shall allow students an overview of research perspectives available to them, and which they can later use as a prism through which to regard policy strategies.
In the shadow of recent developments in global health and the home-learning measures that followed, this course will put specific attention on participants using technical tools available to them to produce contents in accessible format.

Participants will be able to
a. understand dis/ability as a vantage point from which to critique oversights in human rights and inequality discourses;
b. apply methodological sensitivity where cumulatively disadvantaged/vulnerable social actors, in their diverse geopolitical settings and relationships of knowledge, take positions towards policy frameworks across the globe;
c. find practical examples of where rights efforts raise attention to diverse groups’ methods for joint action.

Art der Leistungskontrolle und erlaubte Hilfsmittel

To receive credit for this class, I expect of participants:
a) Attendance / Anwesenheit (maximum absence: 3, i.e. 1,5 sessions)
b) Participation, discussion & work in class: 20% of grade
c) Oral presentation: 30% of grade
d) Term paper: 50% of grade
(approx. 15-20 pages on an individually chosen topic within the range of course contents; 12 point font, 1.5 line spacing)

Mindestanforderungen und Beurteilungsmaßstab

Active participation in discussions on compulsory reading; minimum presence; oral presentation; seminar paper

0-50 percent ≙ nicht genügend
51-65 percent ≙ genügend
66-80 percent ≙ befriedigend
81-90 percent ≙ gut
91-100 percent ≙ sehr gut


Active participation in discussions on compulsory and additional reading; minimum presence; oral presentation; seminar paper


Berghs, Maria. 2015. “Radicalising ‘disability’ in conflict and post-conflict situations“. Disability & Society 30 (5): 743–58.

Chataika, Tsitsi, and Judith A. McKenzie. 2016. ‘Global Institutions and Their Engagement with Disability Mainstreaming in the South: Development and (Dis) Connections’. pp. 423–436 in Disability in the Global South. Springer.

Chouinard, Vera. 2018. "Living on the global peripheries of law: Disability human rights law in principle and in practice in the global south." Laws 7.1: 8.

Davis, Lennard J. 2002. Bending Over Backwards: Disability, Dismodernism, and Other Difficult Positions. New York: NYU Press.

Degener, Theresia. 2016. Disability in a Human Rights Context. Laws, 5(3), 35.

Grech, Shaun. 2012. Disability and the Majority World: A Neocolonial Approach. In Dan Goodley, Bill Hughes, & Lennard Davis (Eds.), Disability and Social Theory: New Developments and Directions (pp. 52–69). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Meekosha, Helen & Soldatic, Karen. 2011. Human Rights and the Global South: The Case of Disability. Third World Quarterly, 32(8), 1383–1397.

Meekosha, Helen. 2011. ‘Decolonising Disability: Thinking and Acting Globally’. Disability & Society 26 (6): 667–82.

McRuer, Robert. 2010. ‘Disability Nationalism in Crip Times’. Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies 4 (2): 163–78.

Nguyen, Xuan-Thuy. 2015. ‘Genealogies of Disability in Global Governance: A Foucauldian Critique of Disability and Development’. Foucault Studies 19: 67–83.

Pisani, Maria, and Shaun Grech. 2015. ‘Disability and Forced Migration: Critical Intersectionalities’. Disability and the Global South 2 (1): 421–41.

Tardi, Rachele, and Janet Njelesani. 2015. ‘Disability and the Post-2015 Development Agenda’. Disability and Rehabilitation 37 (16–17):1496–1500.

Select grey literature:

BODYS – Bochumer Zentrum für Disability Studies. 2020. Inklusion in Zeiten der Katastrophen-Medizin – Stellungnahme zur gegenwärtigen Triage-Debatte.

European Economic and Social Committee. European Disability Strategy 2010-2020, COM(2010) 636 final SOC/403-EESC-2011-1382 § (2011). https://www.eesc.europa.eu/en/our-work/opinions-information-reports/opinions/european-disability-strategy-2010-2020.

Zuordnung im Vorlesungsverzeichnis

VM3 / VM8

Letzte Änderung: Mi 21.04.2021 11:27