Spring 2017

The Embodied Self in American Culture and Society

Listed in: American Studies, as AMST-215

Moodle sites: Course  |  Section 01  |  Section 02  |  Section 03


Wendy H. Bergoffen (Section 02)
Francis G. Couvares (Section 01)
Karen J. Sanchez-Eppler (Section 03)


"The Embodied Self" in American Culture and Society is an interdisciplinary, historically organized study of American perceptions of and attitudes towards the human body in a variety of media, ranging from medical and legal documents to poetry and novels, the visual arts , film, and dance. Among the topics to be discussed are the physical performance of gender; the social construction of the ideal male and female body; health reform movements; athletic achievement as an instrumentalization of the body; commercialization of physical beauty in the fitness and fashion industries; eating disorders as cultural phenomena; the interminable abortion controversy; the equally interminable conflict over pornography and the limits of free speech; and adaptations to the possibility of serious illness and to the certainty of death.

Limited to 25 students. Spring semester.  Professors Couvares, K. Sanchez-Eppler and Lecturer Bergoffen. 

If Overenrolled: Preference will be given, in descending orders, to preregistered juniors & senior Anthropology or American Studies majors who attend the first class; other juniors & seniors who attend the first class; first-year & sophomore Anthro or Amer Studies majors.


Attention to Speaking, Attention to Writing


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Spring 2015, Spring 2017, Spring 2019, Fall 2020