Skip over navigation

Course Offerings

Course Evaluation Results

Course Details

Spring 2018-2019
AAS 302 / SOC 303 / ANT 378 / GHP 302 (SA)   Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit

Political Bodies: The Social Anatomy of Power & Difference

Ruha Benjamin

Students will learn about the human body in its social, cultural and political contexts. The framing is sociological rather than biomedical, attentive to cultural meanings, institutional practices, politics and social problems. The course explicitly discusses bodies in relation to race, class, gender, sexuality, ability, age, health, geography and citizenship status, carefully examining how social differences come to appear natural. Analyzing clinics, prisons, border zones, virtual realities and more, students develop a conceptual toolkit to analyze how society "gets under the skin", producing differential exposure to premature death.

Sample reading list:
Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks
Alondra Nelson, The Social Life of DNA
Monica Casper & Lisa Jean Moore, The Body: Social and Cultural Dissections
Simone Browne, On the Surveillance of Blackness
See instructor for complete list

Reading/Writing assignments:
Read 150 pages per week, weekly reflection memos, midterm essay, final research paper

Requirements/Grading:
Paper in Lieu of Mid Term - 25%
Paper in lieu of Final - 40%
Oral Presentation(s) - 15%
Class/Precept Participation - 20%

Other Requirements:
Open to Juniors and Seniors Only.

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
40239 S01 01:30:00 pm - 04:20:00 pm W   Stanhope Hall   201   Enrolled:21 Limit:15 Closed