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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Coleen Marie Carrigan
ANTH 305
Seattle Campus

Anthropology of the Body

Surveys classic anthropological literature examining the relationship between culture and the body. Examines Euroamerican body culture historically. Explores how the body is represented in mass media and the effects this has on everyday body ideologies.

Class description

This course examines the body from a historical, cultural perspective and uses an interdisciplinary framework to interrogate the politics of the body. Oriented in a critical anthropological standpoint, we inquire into the ideological, discursive and material aspects of embodied subjectivity in western culture. The course explores how the body is socially constructed, represented, commodified and made a site for the contestation of gender, race, sexuality and class. We will confront and deconstruct binaries such as nature/culture, public/private, intellectual/manual labor and address the multi-scaled fields of power involved in the sociocultural articulation of the body. The course draws on feminist and medical anthropology, as well as political economic, post-structural, critical race and queer scholarship to investigate how the body is constituted, reproduced and reinvented. Together, we will develop a value-consciousness of the form, measure and substance of our bodies within systems of normative social relations. Our critical engagement with the body will serve as a means to articulate a refutation of hegemonic regimes and facilitate the development of empowering social arrangements and identities. Students are challenged to identify questions, key concepts, theoretical frameworks and methodologies helpful in forming their own research goals and intellectual expertise.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Course instruction will be a mix of lectures, discussion and mall group work.

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Coleen Marie Carrigan
Date: 03/19/2012