Fall 2020

Quirky Citizenship: Autism in the Political Imagination

Listed in: Political Science, as POSC-412

Moodle site: Course


Kristin Bumiller (Section 01)


This course will explore how autism as both a medical diagnosis and a social category has gained significance over the past forty years. The course will situate the study of autism in the broader framework of the disability rights movement. We will consider the evidence for its characterization as an “epidemic” and how medical experts, parents, and autistic individuals have challenged and collaborated with each other. The study of autism will also be viewed in relation to wide-ranging political concerns, including vaccination and public health, economic costs of care, gender identities, and the growth of bio-medical power.

The course sessions will offer synchronous online lecture/discussion components, in-person small group break-out sections, and structured individual activities.

This course fulfills a requirement for the Five College Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice (RHRJ) certificate.

Requisite: An Introductory course in POSC or its equivalent. Limited to 18 students. Fall semester. Professor Bumiller.

If Overenrolled: Priority given to Political Science majors.


Attention to Issues of Race, Attention to Research, Attention to Writing, Online Only


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021