WGSS 461 Spring 2013 Writing about Bodies (W)

Cross Listed as INTR461, ARTH461
The goal is to think about describing bodies from a variety of disciplinary approaches and genres of writing. Its focus is on living bodies, or bodies that were once alive, with an emphasis on bodies that move i.e., performing bodies--actors, dancers, singers--and what makes them unique. We will also consider objects associated with bodies, and the ways they are animated, including how they are animated when the person who had them dies. The course is meant for juniors, seniors, and graduate students who wish to analyze bodies from different disciplinary formations--art, theatre, literature, anthropology, philosophy--and who have a particular interest in writing. We will read scholarly writing, fiction, New Yorker profiles, as well as memoir/autobiography, and take each as a model through which to write about a person or an object redolent of a person. Possible readings: Roland Barthes on cultural theory and representation; Zine Magubane and Zadie Smith on othered bodies; Tamar Garb on portraiture; Elaine Scary on the body in pain; Joan Acocella, Hilton Als, Judith Thurman and other writers on the arts; Judith Butler and Peggy Phelan on the performative body; Joseph Roach, Diana Taylor, and Michael Taussig on the body, memory, and ritual; Marvin Carlson and Terry Castle on haunting; and Bill Brown on things. These will be supplemented by selected tapes of live performances as well as films.
Class Format: tutorial
Requirements/Evaluation: alternating weekly essays (4-5 pages) and responses (2-4 pages) as well as discussion; a final paper that distills the writer's own project from these cumulative exercises
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Prerequisites: ArtH 101-102, or permission of the instructor; a writing sample that conveys the kind of subject you might be interested in pursuing
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Distribution Notes: meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under ARTH; meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under INTR or WGSS
Divisional Attributes: Division II, Writing Intensive
Other Attributes: PERF Interdepartmental Electives
Enrollment Limit: 10
Expected Enrollment: 10
Class Number: 3384
WGSS461-T1(S) TUT Writing About Bodies (W) Division 2: Social StudiesWriting Intensive Carol Ockman
TBA 3384
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