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Join the Disability Studies Program! To state your interest in declaring a DS Minor, please submit this form by March 15, 2021. If you have any questions, please contact us at disabilitystudies@georgetown.edu.

A Statement of Solidarity from the Program in Disability Studies

We honor and lift the names of Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, James Scurlock, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd, among many others murdered and brutalized by anti-Black racist violence.

We condemn these murders, and the violent police reaction to protests in DC and elsewhere. We recognize the history of structural racism underwriting this, and its intersections with ableism. As a program and movement, we resolve to work to change these structures of oppression.

We are providing the following links to some organizations doing work at the intersections of racial and disability justice. We  recommit ourselves to working in solidarity with Black Disabled organizers, indigenous organizers, and organizers of color to challenge white supremacy.


Over the past three decades, disability studies has emerged as a robust and vibrant field of intellectual inquiry, bringing together cutting-edge research in the humanities, social sciences, and health sciences. The discipline analyzes the cultural and political significance of disability, examining the construction and production of disability in history and in the present moment. Disability studies hones critical tools to analyze how societies grapple with physical and mental difference, the way disability becomes a site for negotiating stigma and social power, and questions of normativity and deviance.

Disability is a fundamental dimension of human diversity. One in every five Americans lives with a disability, making it our country’s largest minority population. Students increasingly recognize that gaining a more sophisticated understanding of disability experience is a critical element in their education, and one that will help prepare them for a growing number of disability-specific careers. Drawing from rich offerings in disciplines as various as anthropology, bioethics, English, health systems administration, nursing, philosophy, psychology, theater and performance studies, theology, and women’s and gender studies, the minor in disability studies will enable students to explore this critical facet of human diversity in an in-depth fashion as it relates to their major field of study and to their professional aspirations.

Program News

Disability Studies Minor Wins Marshall Scholarship

December 7th, 2020

The senior took full advantage of her time at Georgetown to connect with world-class faculty across the university and has focused her major on Latin American studies and African studies with minors in disability studies and international development studies.

New Program Director Starts

July 13th, 2020

Longtime core faculty member Professor Jennifer Natalya Fink is the new Director of the Program as of July 1.

College and University News Related to Disability Studies

Making Georgetown Communication More Accessible, Inclusive for All

April 8th, 2021

person types at computer in front of window

As Georgetown shifted to an online learning environment last spring, there was an increase in virtual communication through websites, email and social media. Libbie Rifkin, teaching professor in the Department of English and associate director of the Disability Studies Program, collaborated with a group of administrators across campus to promote accessible ways to communicate at all university levels through digital means.

Georgetown Senior Publishes Book on Intersection of Business, Law and Minority Politics

March 30th, 2021

black and white headshot of Irene Chun

Before graduating this spring, Irene Chun (C’21) will publish her first book Coloring Ivory that discusses minority politics, business and the law. Chun, who is an Interdisciplinary Studies major concentrating in Government and Women and Gender Studies, combined personal essays and case studies from her time as a student at Georgetown and from growing up as a multi-minority.

Three College Professors Receive Dean’s Excellence in Teaching Awards, Honored for Dedication to Educating Students

January 28th, 2021

white gravenor in spring

Patrick Johnson (Department of Physics), Chandra Manning (Department of History) and Libbie Rifkin (Department of English) will receive the prestigious Dean’s Excellence in Teaching Award at Faculty Convocation. This award is given to those faculty members who have demonstrated that they are exceptional educators who are deeply committed to enriching the undergraduate experience.