Disability studies can be of great value to medical education first, by placing the medical paradigm in the broad context of a sequence of ways of understanding and responding to disability that have emerged in the last 2,000 years or so; second, by reminding medical professionals that people with disabilities have suffered as well as profited from medical treatment in the last 200 years; finally, by providing access to a distinctive point of view from which the experience of disability looks very different than it may from the outside.
G. Thomas Couser is Professor Emeritus of English and founding director of the Disability Studies Program at Hofstra University. His primary interests are in American literature
(especially Native American literature), life writing (autobiography, memoir and so on), and disability studies. He has been awarded three Fellowships by the National Endowment for the Humanities, and is the author of numerous monographs in life writing scholarship including Recovering Bodies: Illness, Disability, and Life Writing (Wisconsin, 1997), Vulnerable Subjects: Ethics and Life Writing (Cornell, 2004), Signifying Bodies: Disability and Contemporary Life Writing (Michigan, 2009) and Memoir: An Introduction (OUP, 2011). His work is taught at universities in Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and the United States.
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