History | Body Issues: Conceptualizing the Body in Modern History
J400 | 3560 | Maglen


Above class open to majors only
Above class open to undergraduates only
J400:  P - HIST-J300

This course provides an examination of various contexts in which the
body has been managed, provided for, shaped and disciplined in
history.  Through diverse readings which draw upon the work of
historians, anthropologists and sociologists, students will explore
the continued tensions that links the very personal domain of the
body with very public discourses and attempts to control individual
bodies within notions of a greater ‘social body.’ Through readings
and discussions of themes such as ‘contagious bodies,’ ‘criminal
bodies,’ and ‘colonial bodies,’ for example, students will develop
an understanding of the relationship of the individual body to the
state and the methods and impact of controls placed upon them. In
the second part of the course students will reverse this theme and
examine, through themes such as ‘thin bodies’ and ‘tattooed bodies,’
how bodies have been changed and displayed by individuals in
response to social pressures, the attainment of perceived ‘norms’ or
in the process of identity creation. Throughout, this course uses
the body as a theme through which important historical issues such
as power, culture, gender and race, for example, can be illuminated
and explored.