Spring 2021

Contested Bodies

Listed in: Anthropology and Sociology, as ANTH-232  |  Sexuality, Women's and Gender Studies, as SWAG-231


Jennifer A. Hamilton (Section 01)


(Offered as SWAG 231 and ANTH 232) Using primary and secondary materials as well as documentaries and feature films, this course explores conceptualizations and representations of race and sex in health and medicine. We begin by looking at the histories of race and sex in Western science. We will examine gendered and racialized pathologies, such as hysteria and drapetomania, and consider how scientific thought intersects with larger political and economic movements. We will then move into a discussion of the uses of race and sex in contemporary biomedicine. Why is the pharmaceutical industry developing drugs geared toward different racial groups? How have advances in reproductive technologies challenged or reinforced our understandings of our bodies? Why and how is sexuality a key site of scientific debate? Finally, how has the genomic age reshaped (or reinforced) our understandings of race, sex, and sexuality?

Limited to 25 students. Spring semester. Visiting Professor Hamilton.

If Overenrolled: Preference given to SWAGS majors, STEM majors, and then to students who attend the first class.


Attention to Issues of Class, Attention to Issues of Gender and Sexuality, Attention to Issues of Race, Attention to Issues of Social Justice, Attention to Research, Attention to Speaking, Attention to Writing


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2021