Disability Studies Summerschool

The Amsterdam Summer School of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers interactive small-scale courses (max. 25 participants) in a wide range of fields. The courses are designed to provide an intensive, in-depth look at your topic of study. You will participate in engaging discussions with a unique group of peers, from all parts of the world. Besides the built-in course excursions the Amsterdam Summer School offers an extensive social programme.

The Amsterdam Summer School offers two-week courses in consecutive blocks during the month July. It is possible to combine two courses in order to create a four-week programme. 

Disability Studies Summerschool 2016

In Block 1 (2 to 16 July 2016) (courses start Monday 4 July 2016) the Summerschool course "Disability Studies and Arts-Based Research: an Exciting Partnership?" will be held. 

Course content

What can the arts teach us about disability? And how can the arts themselves be informed by disabilities? By building a bridge between Disability Studies and the creative sector, this unique course provides new opportunities to investigate the interpretation of “disability” as a lived experience and so perhaps answer fundamental questions about “normality” and what it means to “be human” – with or without a disability. 

Whilst we introduce some of the important authors in this field through a study of the basic literature, the primary thrust of the course is experiential. Working with artists and arts-based researchers, you are introduced to – and engage with – visual arts, dance, music and poetry projects that serve as sources to find out more about disability as a provocative phenomenon in confrontation with so-called “normality”. Through these active partnerships, you also explore the subtleties and pitfalls of arts-based research. As the course unfolds, you work in compact groups on your own small artistic projects, drawing upon the theoretical foundations, methodological insights and real-life experiences you are acquiring. 

A vibrant, open and multicultural city with the arts in its DNA, from the classic Dutch Masters to the modern anarchistic avant-garde, Amsterdam is the perfect place to re-examine cultural and social phenomena from challenging new perspectives. This is exactly what you do on this course, organized by the VU in partnership with the NGO Disability Studies in the Netherlands.