Table of Contents
Week 5. Bodies
This week is all about human and non-human difference, race, sex, monsters, cyborgs, where bodies start and end and what they tell us about ourselves and about others.
What to do during week 5
- This week will likely be affected quite a lot by industrial action.
- You are now hopefully growing more comfortable with exploring the readings, exercises, and proofs!
- Continue to practice citation, paraphrasing, and summarising from the How to Use a Text excercise. You will need to demonstrate these skills in your portfolio submission.
- The mid-semester feedback form is here. It requires your student login but it does not record your name, so you may consider it anonymous.
- List some features or aspects of your body. What makes your body human? How do you recognize humanness in other bodies? What makes a nonhuman body nonhuman? What makes it a body?
- Pay attention this week to how your personal experience and identity of sex, gender, and race shapes your daily life. How does it change how you interact with people? which spaces you enter and what you do there? what assumptions others make about you and you make about others? How do these experiences relate to specific parts of your response to exercise 1?
- What makes a body normal or abnormal? How are built spaces designed around normal or abnormal bodies, and how do people modify bodies and spaces to accommodate normality or abnormality?
For those who signed up to visit the university's Anatomical Museum, please complete the exercise here. Some of these questions also apply to other collections in the city that you might visit to explore the history of bodies, such as the Wohl Pathology Museum.
Recent students have found the articles of Schiebinger (Anatomy of Difference) and Qureshi especially helpful starting points for this unit.
- Anatomy and medicine: Kuriyama, Duden, Cunningham, Kemp (in Bynum), Jordanova (in Bynum), Kemp et al, Park
- Sex: Laqueur, Fausto-Sterling, Schiebinger (Skeletons), Haraway, Park
- Race: Fausto-Sterling (in Terry), Haraway, Stepan, Stocking, Kuklick, Painter, Kendi
- Mechanisms: Truitt, Voskuhl, Garber (in Roux et al), Tresch
A. Bodily features or qualities have often been taken to show something essential about a person or group of people. Identify and discuss an example of this from the course materials for this unit, explaining the motivations and scientific ideas connected to your chosen corporeal essentialism.
B. Bodies often fail to conform to the ideas people have held about them. Using course materials from this unit, identify and discuss an example of a historical response to a variant or exceptional body (or bodies) and how this response related to ideas and practices of normalcy and variation.
C. Human bodies are unusual scientific objects in that they are capable of speaking on their own behalf, but (like all scientific objects) can also be made to speak through various forms of examination and manipulation. Using materials from this unit, identify and discuss a specific historical context of producing scientific evidence from a human body or bodies.