Spring 2016 - GSWS 320 D100

Special Topics in Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies (4)

Dude, Where's My Body?

Class Number: 5188

Delivery Method: In Person

Overview

  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 1:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    WMC 3533, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    15 units.

Description

CALENDAR DESCRIPTION:

A specific theme within within the field of gender, sexuality, and women's studies, not otherwise covered in depth in regularly scheduled courses, will be dealt with as occasion and demand warrant.

COURSE DETAILS:

We live in a historical moment in which cells are technologies, some human genes are intellectual property, organs and tissues are exchangeable, and our limbs, senses, sex, looks, and lives are mutable and extendable. In this context, what is your body? Where does it begin and end? What are your biological properties? How much of your bodily substance and sensation is strictly “yours”?

Starting from feminist science studies scholar Donna Haraway’s enduring provocation, “Why should our bodies end at the skin?” (“A Cyborg Manifesto” 1991), we will spend the semester mapping and remapping the contours of this thing we call “a body.” This course traces and interrogates the numerous ways in which our bodies matter – socially, historically, technologically, biologically, politically, and economically. We will begin by reading focused selections from key texts that will help us to develop a shared language for talking about our bodies and their cultural, physical, and historical dimensions. The rest of the semester will be spent on case studies drawn from historical texts, anthropology, science and technology studies, performance studies, and critical cultural studies of race, gender, and sexuality.

Areas of exploration include constructions of sex and gender, drugs and addiction, social inequality, social media, cosmetic surgery, contagion, organ transplantation, prosthetics, cell lines, interspecies relations, genetics, cloning, nanotechnologies, toys, toxins, food, and bioart.

COURSE-LEVEL EDUCATIONAL GOALS:

- Critical understanding of the multiple social, political, environmental, and technological fields that shape and are shaped by our bodies
- Ability to approach embodiment as a key site of knowledge, governance, and resistance
- Capacity to develop critical, theoretical, and creative analyses or interventions based in your own bodily experience
- Enhanced skills in critical and creative thinking; media, cultural, and literary analysis; communication of ideas through speech and writing; and original research design

Grading

  • Participation and Attendance 20%
  • Reading Responses 25%
  • Body Journal 15%
  • Short Paper or Presentation 10%
  • Final Project 30%

NOTES:

 GSWS 320-4 – SPECIAL TOPICS IN GSWS: DUDE, WHERE’S MY BODY?

Materials

REQUIRED READING:

1.  Testo Junkie: Sex, Drugs, and Biopolitics in the Pharmacopornographic Era, Paul Preciado
2.  Yellowface, David Henry Hwang
3.  All other readings and materials will be made available on canvas

RECOMMENDED READING:

1.  Animacies: Biopolitics, Racial Mattering, and Queer Affect, Mel Chen
2.  Native American DNA: Tribal Belonging and the False Promise of Genetics, Kim Tallbear

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: YOUR WORK, YOUR SUCCESS