The Body: Aesthetics, Culture and Politics in the 20th Century

Schools of Public Engagement: Humanities

Liberal Arts
Undergraduate Course
Degree Students
The Body
Spring 2023
Taught By: Terri Gordon
Section: A

CRN: 13290

Credits: 3

"You do not realize how the headlines that make daily history affect the muscles of the human body," the dancer Martha Graham once commented. This course examines the relationship between politics, social tensions, and cultural values and muscles, movement, and skin—a relationship that has made the body one of the most visible signs of 20th-century culture. We study deployments of the body in Europe and the United States, covering the historical and contemporary avant-garde; body culture and life reform movements; war and propaganda; and cabaret, dance, and performance art. How can we "read" the body? How do representations of the body reflect and support prevalent notions of race, gender, and nation? In what ways do images of the body critique and subvert cultural norms? We study literature, history, art, and cultural documents, including articles in the press and political manifestoes; fictional works by Kafka, Apollinaire, Junger, and Carrington; artworks by Hans Bellmer, Frida Kahlo, Cindy Sherman, and Orlan; and theoretical texts by Freud, Foucault, Kracauer, Sontag, and others. We also spend class time viewing paintings, photography, and performance art. This course counts toward the Gender Studies minor.

College: Schools of Public Engagement (NS)

Department: Humanities (NHUM)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 5

Add/Drop Deadline: February 5, 2023 (Sunday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: April 16, 2023 (Sunday)

Seats Available: No

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 4:28pm EDT 5/31/2023

Meeting Info:
Days: Tuesday
Times: 1:55pm - 3:45pm
Building: Johnson/Kaplan 66 West 12th
Room: 406
Date Range: 1/24/2023 - 5/9/2023