Summer 2020 - HIST 424 D100

Problems in the Cultural History of Canada (4)

Debates in Disabilities

Class Number: 3653

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    May 11 – Aug 10, 2020: Fri, 9:30 a.m.–1:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units including nine units of lower division history. Recommended: HIST 101, 102W.



Selected problems in Canadian ideas and attitudes on such topics as the arts, religion, education, minority and native cultures, nationalism, and Canadian historiography. Content may vary from offering to offering; see course outline for further information. HIST 424 may be repeated for credit only when a different topic is taught.


“People with disabilities.” “Disabled people.” Even the terminology surrounding disability provokes controversies. In this course, we will explore changing understandings and evolving debates about disability in Canada. Our weekly seminars will address and examine the historical context surrounding questions about defining disability, caregiving, the rights of disabled people, and media portrayals of disability. Students in this seminar class will probe primary and secondary sources to learn about, and write about, tensions between social and medical models of disability, questions of agency and disability, and conflicts about institutional and community care about disabled people. Finally, they will consider the challenges of researching disability history, and the challenges faced by disabled historians.


  • Class participation 20%
  • Film review 20%
  • Archive analysis 20%
  • Writing portfolio 40%



Hansen, Nancy, Roy Hanes, and Diane Driedger, eds. Untold Stories: A Canadian Disability History Reader. Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press, 2018.

Additional primary and secondary readings will be available on Canvas.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University.


Please note that all teaching at SFU in summer term 2020 will be conducted through remote methods. Enrollment in this course acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning ( or 778-782-3112) as soon as possible to ensure that they are eligible and that approved accommodations and services are implemented in a timely fashion.