History 586D (201): Topics in Intellectual History (Organs: Bodies, Medicine, and History)

Instructor: Carla Nappi
Section: 201

Term: 2
Meets: Wed 9:30am-12:00pm

The Term 2 (2012) incarnation of History 586 will be a thematic introduction to the body in history. Over the course of the semester, we will dive into some major recent works of the history of science and medicine, supplementing these with more broadly theoretical works, in an exploration of dead bodies, miraculous bodies, virtual bodies, painful bodies, desiring bodies, colonial bodies, barking bodies, cyborg bodies, sick bodies, vibrant bodies, and bodies in parts, among others. The seminar will take a transdisciplinary approach to situating bodies in history, and students will be introduced to a range of historiographical approaches from across history, anthropology, political science, and cultural theory. Students will have an opportunity to write a final paper that relates some aspect of the course to their own interests and/or ongoing research. Good times and penetrating conversations will be had.

In addition to shorter pieces available on the course website, the reading list will include the following books:

Jane Bennett, Vibrant Matter
Steven Epstein, Inclusion: The Politics of Difference in Medical Research
Katherine Hayles, How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics
Annemarie Mol, the body multiple
Margaret Lock, Twice Dead
Elaine Scarry, The Body in Pain
Katharine Park, Secrets of Women
Keith Wailoo, How Cancer Crossed the Color Line
Butler, Bodies That Matter

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