The course is an interdisciplinary, historically organized study of American perceptions of and attitudes towards the human body in a variety of media, ranging from medical and legal documents to poetry and novels, the visual arts , film, and dance. Among the topics to be discussed are the physical performance of gender; the social construction of the ideal male and female body; health reform movements; athletic achievement as an instrumentalization of the body; commercialization of physical beauty in the fitness and fashion industries; eating disorders as cultural phenomena; the interminable abortion controversy; the equally interminable conflict over pornography and the limits of free speech; and adaptations to the possibility of serious illness and to the certainty of death.
Limited to 25 students. Spring semester. Professor Couvares.
If Overenrolled: Preference will be given, in descending orders, to preregistered juniors & senior Anthropology or American Studies majors who attend the first class; other juniors & seniors who attend the first class; first-year & sophomore Anthro or Amer Studies majors.