The human body has increasingly become an object of anthropological study. The body is rich as a site of meaning and materiality. Similarly, culture inscribes itself on the body in terms of “normalization” and governance. This course will explore pertinent issues surrounding the body today. Topics such as personhood, natural vs. artificial bodies, identity and subjectivity (nationality, race, class, sex, gender), domination and marginalization, and policy will be discussed. We will focus on the body in three main stages: birth, life, and death, with relevant case studies in each stage (e.g., embryos, reproduction, breastfeeding, organs, immigrant bodies, etc.).
This is a senior capstone course in the Department of Anthropology. The course has a digital ethnography component as a final project option.