When J.S.D. candidate Doron Dorfman J.S.M. ’14 arrived at Stanford five years ago, he was shocked to find that not a single person at the university identified as a disabilities scholar. This fall, Dorfman introduced a new course called “HUMRTS 104: Introduction to Disability Studies and Disability Rights” to fill the gap.
“Stanford needs academic engagement with disability studies,” Dorfman said. “I really want to show that disability studies is an academic field.”
Originally from Israel, Dorfman has been doing work on the intersection between disability studies and law for over a decade. He practiced law in Israel for five years before coming to the U.S.
The course combines the humanities, social science and legal spheres. Throughout the quarter, students study disability history in the U.S., the eugenics movement, psychological processes of creating disability identity, media representation of disability and international law relating to disability.