Middlebury
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AMST0243

American Bodies

American Bodies
In this course we will examine the material culture of the body and the body as material culture. Themes to be explored include skin (tattoos, tans, cosmetics), muscle (exercise and ideal bodies, historical and contemporary), adornment (fashion, jewelry, body modification practices), health crazes, performance, medical imaging, and enhancement (fictional and technological cyborgs, plastic surgery). We will explore practices that fragment the body and objects that were exchanged as tokens of affection, such as 19th century hairwork and eye miniatures. Historical figures to be discussed include cosmetics magnate Madame C.J. Walker, health enthusiasts Sylvester Graham and the Kellogg brothers, bodybuilder and exercise entrepreneur Eugen Sandow, dancer Josephine Baker, efficiency expert Frederick Winslow Taylor, and P.T. Barnum’s collaborations with performers such as Tom Thumb and the conjoined twins Chang and Eng. 3 hrs. lect.
Subject:
American Studies
Department:
Program in American Studies
Division:
Interdisciplinary
Requirements Fulfilled:
NOR

Sections

Fall 2014

AMST0243A-F14 Lecture (Foutch)