Explore diverse and contradictory definitions, narratives, representations, experiences and histories of bodies and their relationship to power.

This Pathway allows students to take an interdisciplinary approach to inquiry of bodies and embodiment, their (her)(his)tories, frameworks, practices and methodologies. We will explore diverse and potentially contradictory definitions, narratives, representations, experiences, histories of body and what and who counts as a body.

Students will gain an understanding of the relationship between power, subjectivities, and individual and collective bodies. Through their studies, they will be inspired to become engaged citizens in local and global settings. They will become aware of the connections and differences between disciplinary approaches to the study of the body/embodiment and develop a critical analytical lens for examining the promises and limits of particular disciplines.

While students will construct their own animating questions, some possible examples include:

  • Do all bodies work and feel the same?
  • How are bodies affected by power and how do they resist?
  • How are bodies presented and represented (e.g., technologically, scientifically, statistically, visually, narratively, biologically or aesthetically)?
  • What is the relationship among physical, imagined and/or metaphorical bodies?
  • How do bodies change and transform across time and space?
  • What are physical, constructed, and imposed limits to bodies?
  • How do we make meaning out of bodies?

Thematic Inquiry

The Thematic Inquiry will be co-taught by the coordinators of the Pathway. Other faculty members will circulate throughout the semester to teach their discipline’s frameworks, practices and methodologies. Sample topics include self-care practices, food, capitalism’s framing of bodies, perfectionism, individualism, globalization and cultural appropriation.

Throughout the semester, students will reflect on their embodied social locations using their medium of choice. These reflections will culminate in an analysis of course themes and content. Students will also contribute to a course blog in which they reflect and analyze based on evidence from course content, generate unanswered questions, and forge connections to life, assignments, and content in other courses.

Global/Local Engagement

Each Pathway requires students to pursue purposeful engagement in a local or international context, such as study away, an internship, or community-based learning.

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