2020 - Spring: Issues and Ideas: Writing the Body

Course Number: JOUR-UA 505, section 1

Day & Time: Thu | 3:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Location: 20 Cooper Square, room 655

Instructor: Carol Sternhell

Prerequisites: None

To what extent are we our bodies? Do we inhabit them, flee them, celebrate them, transcend them? How do others “read” our bodies? Are we accepted by our culture … admired … despised? Writing the Body is a course for everyone with a body — a female body, a male body, or a body of uncertain gender. We will read a wide variety of individual body-centered accounts (What is it like to be quadriplegic and only be able to move your mouth? What is it like to be very fat?) and cultural analyses (If egg and sperm both move to meet in the Fallopian tube, who decided to call the sperm active and the egg passive? Is plastic surgery barbaric or empowering?). Topics discussed will include — but not be limited to — beauty, weight, sex, rape, menstruation, abortion, penis size, transgender identity, body modification (tattoos, piercing, and beyond), disability, and race. In addition to extensive reading and discussion, students will write several versions of their own stories of embodiment.

Notes: Counts as an elective for the journalism major and both journalism minors.