Disability experience study by Sari Altschuler

Studying experiences of disability in the US

Disability experience study by Sari Altschuler

Sari Altschuler, an assistant professor of English at Northeastern University, uncovers a history of the imagination in medicine in her first book, ‘The Medical Imagination’. She has been awarded a scholarship at Wellesley College’s Newhouse Center for the Humanities. The college will help her fully focus on her second book which will be titled- ‘Able: Disability and the Cultures of Citizenship in the Early United States’.

“It really is ideal—an  honor in itself and also a gift of time for research,” she said. “I’m delighted to have been chosen.”

 She is studying the experiences of disability in the early United States. Altschuler is going to take  a year off to work on her new book. Her interest in research work includes literature, medicine, and disability studies.

“The project argues that this disability- based knowledge profoundly shaped American culture in its early decades in ways we have not fully understood, particularly cultural notions of citizenship,” Alschuler said. 


Alschuler also says that literature has been an essential tool for research works. Especially in the 18th and 19th centuries, literature has helped doctors to craft medical theories. Literary works like reading and writing poetry, novels, and plays trained judgment, sharpened observation, and provided evidence for medical research.


She has also been honoured by President Joseph E. Aoun at the Academic Honors Convocation on Tuesday, out of more than 100 faculty members. 

Earlier in 2019, Alschuler was a part of the launch of an interactive exhibit called “Touch This Page! Making Sense of the Ways We Read.” The exhibit aims to celebrate the multi-sensory experiences of reading. 3D-printed replicas of early 19th and 20th century texts designed for readers who are visually impaired were showcased in the exhibit with an effort to display how senses like touch, sight, and sound contribute to reading and also to educate the viewers about the history of disability and the daily experiences that face people who are visually impaired.



Disha Mazumder

Disha Mazumder
Disha Mazumder


I am in 2nd year, studying Mass Communication and Journalism from MIT ADT University, Pune. I have a passion for art and travelling.

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