The “Spectacle” of Disability Representations

Stephanie Misko, English, W.A. Hough High School

Final Unit (PDF)     Implementing Common Core Standards (PDF)

200 Word Synopsis

The following unit will be used to encourage students to think critically about representations of oppressed groups; specifically, this unit focuses on representations of disabled persons. Students begin by reading Of Mice and Men and analyzing archetypal characters, then we use informational text to connect these representations to images and media presented today. The informational text is relevant to North Carolina students as it details the North Carolina Selective Sterilization Program. To synthesize the information to this point, students will conduct a Socratic seminar on the novel and the informational text. Students will finish the unit by creating a detournement, which is a project that subverts media images. They will be choosing problematic messages in modern media that are harmful to disabled groups. With that problematic image, students will juxtapose images that undermine the problematic message. This will involve using filmmaking computer programs.