History | The Body in Early America
J300 | 2861 | Knott

J300:  also open to non-majors
Above section COAS intensive writing section and also
	requires registration in COAS W333
Above section open to undergraduates only

Can only doctors tell us about the body, or do historians have
something to say? Is the body unchanging  a mass of bones, organs,
flesh and hormones encased in skin  or does it have a history? In
recent years, historians have newly explored the history of the body
and used it as a rich way to understand our past. This course
examines the history of the body in America between the sixteenth
and early nineteenth centuries. Topics will include: sexuality and
sexual difference, race and slavery, violence (bare knuckle
fighting, eye gouging, public punishment), manners, adornment and
self-fashioning (fashion, tattoos). We will ask three kinds of
questions: What understandings did Americans have of their bodies
and the bodies of others? What were Americans' different experiences
of their bodies? How do historians use the body as a source?

This is an upper-level intensive writing course. We will spend time
thinking about writing as well as about history. Weekly readings of
up to 130 pages will be a blend of primary sources (produced by
people in the past) and secondary sources (written by historians).
Evaluation will be based on class participation, short papers, and a
research paper of 8-10pp