Honors | Representation & the Body (GNDR)
G310 | 26412 | Helen Gremillion

Why has the incidence of anorexia nervosa and other eating disorders
increased so dramatically in the past few decades, and why do these
problems affect women and girls in particular?  How do competitive
sports affect men's images of their bodies?  This course examines a
range of bodily practices and cultural codes that mark the body, and
asks why body rituals have become so salient in recent times.  We
will focus on the creation and institutionalization of sexual
difference through representations of the body, and will also
examine people's attempts to challenge these representations.
Topics include chronic dieting, sports and fitness; body alterations
that are racially and culturally specific; cross-dressing and
transexualism; the commodification of reproduction through new
reproductive technologies; and "alternative" sexualities. Comparison
of scholarly arguments about the body and its representation
highlights debates about the body as a site of social control and
political struggle.