Common Reading

Class of 2026 Common Reading: “What Disability Studies Has to Offer Medical Education”

The Class of 2026 Common Reading is the article “What Disability Studies Has to Offer Medical Education” by G. Thomas Couser, who founded the Disability Studies program at Hofstra University and has published numerous books and articles on disability, memoir, and ethics.  In that article, occasioned by the establishment of the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra, Couser reviews how we have thought about disability and human anomalies over two millennia and how biomedicine has treated or mistreated disability over the past two centuries. Couser addresses vexed issues such as eugenics, pathologizing human variation, selective abortion, and physician assisted suicide, and he advocates “disability literacy” for an educated citizenry in general and medical professionals in particular.  As part of your participation in Welcome Week, you will attend a panel at which Couser, other Hofstra faculty experts, and an outstanding undergraduate will engage with these issues. Read the article any time prior to Welcome Week by visiting this link: You will need to enter your username and password to access the article. Scroll down to learn about the Common Reading Essay contest!

Essay Contest:

We invite you to submit an essay of not more than 750 words on any topic you wish having to do with the common reading, “What Disability Studies Has to Offer Medical Education”. Your essay must be relevant to the works of the article— otherwise there are no restrictions on topic or style. All essays will be read and judged by members of the Hofstra faculty.