Tobin Siebers papers: 1983-2013 (bulk 1986-2007)
Summary Information
Title: Tobin Siebers papers
Creator: Siebers, Tobin.
Inclusive dates: 1983-2013
Bulk dates: 1986-2007
Extent: 2 linear feet
University of Michigan Professor of English Language and Literature, co-chair of the university's Initiative on Disability Studies, V. L. Parrington Collegiate Professor. Siebers was well known for his advocacy and literary contributions in disability studies. Collection includes class syllabi and notes, lecture notes and writings on the subject of disability and disability advocacy, as well as records relating to his career departmental matters.
Call number: 2017008 Aa 2
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
Home Page:
Finding aid created by Olga Virakhovskaya in February 2017

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

Donated by Jill Siebers (Donor no.11275) in May 2015.

Access Restrictions:

The Tobin Siebers papers contain material not open for research. Restricted material includes personnel-related files, including search, review, promotion, and tenure files; and records of executive officers of the university. Tobin Siebers papers includes restricted material in the following categories:

  1. Executive Officer Records -- Box 3
  2. Personnel Related Records -- Box 3

Access Restrictions for University of Michigan Records

University records are public records and once fully processed are generally open to research use. Records that contain personally identifiable information will be restricted in order to protect individual privacy. Certain administrative records are restricted in accordance with university policy as outlined below. The restriction of university records is subject to compliance with applicable laws, including the Freedom of Information Act.

Categories of Restricted Records:

  • Personnel related files , including search, review, promotion, and tenure files, are restricted for thirty years from date of creation.
  • Student educational records are restricted for seventy-five years from date of creation.
  • Patient/client records are restricted for one-hundred years from date of creation.
  • Executive Officers, Deans and Directors files . By university records policy in effect as of January 1, 2001, University records generated by the university's Executive Officers, Deans, Directors and their support offices are restricted for a period of twenty years from their date of accession by the Bentley Historical Library. The restriction is subject to applicable law, most notably the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
    • Files restricted for 10 years -- records added to a record group in this category prior to January 1, 2001 are restricted for a period of ten years from the date of creation
    • Files restricted for 20 years -- records added to a record group in this category after January 1, 2001 are restricted for a period of 20 years from the date they were added to the record group.

Restricted files are indicated in the contents list with a restriction note indicating the restriction type and the date of expiration.

  • CR (Client/Patient records, 100 years from date of creation)
  • PR (Personnel related records, 30 years from date of creation)
  • SR (Student educational records, 75 years from date of creation)
  • ER (Executive Officers, Deans and Directors records, 20 years from the date the material added to the record group)

For further information on the restriction policy and placing FOIA requests for restricted material, consult the reference archivist at the Bentley Historical Library or the University of Michigan Freedom of Information Office website at:

To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more information, please see:


Copyright is been transferred to the Regents of the University of Michigan but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright is not held. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.

Preferred Citation:

[item], folder, box, Tobin Siebers papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan


Tobin Siebers was born on January 29, 1953 in Kaukauna, Wisconsin. He was diagnosed with polio at the age of two. Siebers received his BA in Comparative Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1975), MA in Comparative Literature from the State University of New York at Binghamton (1976), and PhD in Comparative Literature from John Hopkins University (1980).

Siebers began his career at the University of Michigan in 1980. He has authored ten books, including field-defining Disability Aesthetics (UM Press, 2010) and Disability Theory (UM Press, 2008). In 2004 Siebers was named the V. L. Parrington Collegiate Professor. Siebers was a Chair of the LSA Comparative Literature Program (currently the Department of Comparative Literature). In 2009, the University of Michigan Council for Disability Concerns presented Siebers with the James T. Neubacher Award in recognition of extraordinary leadership and service in support of the disability community. Siebers has been selected for fellowships by the Michigan Society of Fellows, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and the Institute for the Humanities at the University of Michigan. Tobin Siebers passed away in January 2015. In March 2015, the University of Michigan announced the establishment of the Tobin Siebers Prize for Disability Studies in the Humanities "for best book-length manuscript on a topic of pressing urgency to Disability Studies in the humanities."

Collection Scope and Content Note

The bulk of the material documents Siebers' teaching at the University of Michigan and includes course syllabi and notes. Also included in the collection are lectures and conference presentations, reviews of books and grant applications, as well as the materials that reflect on Siebers' work in the field of disability studies and advocacy. A small amount of restricted material contains departmental and personnel records.

Subject Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.

  • Aesthetics -- Study and teaching.
  • Disability studies.
  • English literature -- Study and teaching (Higher)
  • Ethics -- Study and teaching (Higher)
  • Literature -- Study and teaching (Higher)
  • Literature and morals.
  • Siebers, Tobin.
  • University of Michigan. College of Literature, Science and the Arts -- Faculty.
  • University of Michigan -- Faculty.
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
Box   1  
Courses 1983-2013 [series] (29 folders)

This series contains sillaby, course maps, lecture notes, study questions, and other materials relating to the courses taught at the University of Michigan. Files include materials relating to such courses as "Great Books," "Literature and Prejudice," "Reading Disability in Literature and the Other Arts," "Screwball Comedy," "Disability Aesthetics," "Image theory," among others.

Box   1  
Speaking engagements 1995-2009 [series] (6 folders)

The series includes transcripts, notes and flyers relating to Siebers' conference presentations and lectures. Found in the series are materials relating to his talks at the University of Michigan, Yale University, Cornell University, University of California-Los Angeles, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Box   2  
Topical files 1994-2007 [series] (9 folders)

The records include files Siebers kept on the topics of disability studies, disability and politics, and disability theory. Also found here are reviews of his books, grant applications, as well as files relating to his work on the UM Initiative in Disability Studies and the MLA Committee on Disability Issues in the Profession.

UM College of Literature, Science, and the Arts 1986-2007 [series]
Box   3  
Appointments 1986-2005 [PR Restricted until July 1, 2025]

Material relating to Siebers' appointment at the University of Michigan.

Box   3  
Comparative Literature Program 2006-2007 (4 oversize folders)  [ER Restricted until July 1, 2035]

Materials relating to the Comparative Literature Program Committee and Chairmanship.