December 15, 2021

Wayne State University College of Education receives National Endowment for the Humanities grant to host second summer institute on disability and identity in history, literature and media

DETROIT — The Wayne State University College of Education will present “The National Endowment for the Humanities and Wayne State University Together: Disability and Identity in History, Literature and Media,” a virtual one-week summer institute for K-12 educators, Aug. 1-5, 2022. The institute is made possible by a $120,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

During the week-long program, educators will explore disability and identity in history, literature and media. Outcomes include understanding disability, identity and intersectionality; analyzing disability and identity in K-12 humanities curriculum; translating knowledge and analysis into K-12 teaching; building a national network of resources; and K-12 colleagues exploring disability and identity in the humanities curriculum.

Thirty-five educators will be invited to attend the summer institute. They will be selected from a competitive national pool. Interested educators can apply at through Mar. 1, 2022. Elementary teachers, new teachers and librarians are encouraged to apply.

“The institute provides educators the opportunity to understand disability and identity in the history, literature and media used by K-12 educators and to translate their understanding into their teaching and curriculum,” said Susan L. Gabel, Ph.D., professor of inclusive education and director of the institute. “Disability as an identity may be a novel idea for many educators due to the traditional way schools identify students for learning support services. The institute takes the perspective that disability can be understood and analyzed as an identity in the K-12 curriculum. With this approach, disability can be understood from multiple perspectives.”

Five scholars will facilitate daily discussions about disability and identity in the K-12 humanities curriculum: Kathleen Crawford-McKinney, Ph.D., associate professor of reading, language and literature at Wayne State University; Beth Haller, Ph.D., professor of journalism and new media at Towson University; Kim Nielsen, Ph.D., professor of disability studies, history, and women’s and gender studies at the University of Toledo; Diana Paulin, Ph.D., associate professor of English and American studies at Trinity College; and Aja Reynolds, Ph.D., assistant professor of urban education and critical race studies at Wayne State University.

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Learn more information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs at

For more information about the summer institute, visit or contact Susan Gabel at 313-577-6382 or

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About the College of Education

The College of Education is anchored by its commitment to social justice, equity and inclusive excellence, and offers degree programs in 37 areas, including teacher education, counseling, educational leadership and policy studies, educational psychology, educational research and evaluation, exercise and sport science, learning design and technology and sports administration. For more information, visit

About Wayne State University

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering approximately 350 academic programs to nearly 25,000 students. For more information, visit


Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this release do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Tracy Boyce
Phone: 313-577-0260

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