The Body in Question
What does literature have to say about the fact that we are “embodied” beings?—that our consciousness interacts with the world through an envelope of flesh that both weighs us down with its mundane requirements and propels us forward with its remarkable abilities and insistent desires? We know that the world at large cares deeply about our bodies, for it continually categorizes us along the lines of race, gender, age, and “normality,” but who gets (or should get) the last word about what our skin and bones declare about us? In this class we will investigate what novelists, playwrights, and poets have to say about our ability to either make peace with our flesh or to transcend it, and whether such outcomes can best be accomplished through religion, imagination, drugs, sexuality, or political action. The works we address will include Shelley’s Frankenstein, Morrison’s Sula, Beckett’s Happy Days, Silko’s Ceremony, Coetzee’s Waiting for the Barbarians, and others. 3 hrs. sem.
- 12:15pm-1:30pm on Monday, Wednesday (Sep 13, 2021 to Dec 13, 2021)
- Twilight Hall 110