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Anthropology 305 Anthropology of the Body

Summer 2014
Instructor: Jennifer Carroll
Contact Information
Email: jencarr2@uw.edu
Office Hours: Denny 433, by appointment.

Course Overview
Course Goals
This course is a theoretical introduction to EuroAmerican discourses of the body. This
includes not only theoretical discourses that have shaped philosophical and anthropological
discussions of the human body but also the discourses that have governed and shaped our
understanding of the body and our bodily experiences in popular EuroAmerican culture(s).
By the end of this quarter, students will have gained basic fluency in the concepts of
embodiment, biopower, biopolitics, and the social construction of the body (including the social
construction of race and gender, among other body-bound categories).
Required Texts
Margaret Lock and Judith Farquhar (eds): Beyond the Body Proper (2007)
Michel Foucault: The Birth of the Clinic (1963)
Nikolas Rose: The Politics of Life Itself (2007)

Course Assignments and Grading
A total of 100 points may be earned for this class. The point breakdown is as follows:
This course is designed to be challenging and to encourage you to push your limits in
thinking, analyzing, and writing. This means that you will not earn a perfect score for work that
is good enough. Earning a perfect score in this class is extremely difficult.
This class will be graded on a curve. I only curve up. This means that you will not be
assigned a grade that is lower than the equivalent of your point percentage on a 4.0 scale. (i.e. if
you have earned 85 out of 100 points, your grade for this course will not be any lower than 3.0,
and if you earned 75 out of 100 points, your grade will not be lower than 2.0).
Reading Responses
Reading responses will be assigned during weeks 1-3 and weeks 4-6. Each assignment
should respond to the prompt that is provided and should relate to the reading assignments for
the previous week. Each response should be 600 - 800 words in length. All responses will be
submitted electronically via Canvas.
Responses do not need to be thoroughly developed and polished essays, but they should
provide a thoughtful response to the prompt that is coherently structured and presented. In other
words, dont just sit down and write a train of thought. Think about how you want to answer the
prompt and develop a plan before you begin to write.
Each assignment will be given up to 5 points according to the following rubric:
5 points: The student has provided an outstanding answer to the assigned prompt. The
response is couched in a very strong argumentative structure and very lucid but
compelling prose. The student displays a thorough understanding of the main theories
and arguments in the assigned texts and is able to analyze and offer critiques of those
texts. The major arguments of the assigned texts are explored through thoughtfully
selected real-life cases and examples, elaborating the impact and/or applicability of these
theories to the world we live in.
4 points: The student has provided a very good answer to the prompt. The student has
presented a strong argument or central idea that is both original and well connected to the
texts. The student displays a clear understanding of the main theories and arguments of
the assigned texts and grounds his or her ideas in those arguments, connecting them very
well to larger themes or real-life examples.
3 points: The student provides a satisfactory answer to the prompt. The response is
structured coherently and is easy to follow. The student has presented original ideas and
successfully connected those ideas to the main ideas of the texts read during the previous
2 points: The student has provided a clear response to the prompt, but has not done so in
a very coherent manner and/or has not adequately connected his or her ideas to the
assigned texts. This response has all of the necessary parts, but the content is too thin or
the presentation too disorganized.
1 point: The student has submitted a text that is between 600 and 800 words in length. It
acknowledges the prompt but does not provide a coherent response (i.e. the text has no
point or thesis to speak of) and/or the student has made little or no connections with the
assigned readings.
Though six reading responses have been assigned, I will only grade five. This means that
I will drop your lowest score when calculating your grade. If you choose to submit all six
responses, I will include only the highest five scores. If you choose to skip one of the responses,
effectively earning a zero, it will not count against you.

Midterm Exam
A midterm exam will be given on Thursday, July 17. Please note the following:
The exam will consist of short essay questions asking students to analyze and comment
on the texts that have been read in the class up to this date.
This exam is open book, open note.
The exam will be completed electronically. We will not have our regular class session on
this day. Students may complete the exam however and wherever they wish.
It will be made available at on Canvas at 9am on Thursday, July 17 and will be due at
9am on Friday, July 18. This is a hard deadline. The drop box will close at 9am on the
and will not accept submissions after that.
Students are allowed to collaborate on this exam. You may discuss the exam content
and any of the readings amongst yourselves as you develop your answers. A
collaboration space will be opened on Canvas on this day. I will not be monitoring this
space. It is entirely for student discussion and communication. Any questions about the
exam should be emailed to me directly, not posted to Canvas, as I will not read them
Keep in mind that even though you are allowed to collaborate with one another in
developing your ideas, the written responses to the exam questions must be entirely
your own. Any exams that are suspiciously similar in content or wording will be
penalized severely. I do not tolerate plagiarism; copying someone elses work directly
will result in you failing this class.
Final Essay
Each student will select one of their reading responses from the quarter and develop it
into a formal essay of 1000-1500 words in length. As a formal essay, this assignment has much
higher expectations in terms of analytical development and engagement with course texts.
However, this essay is should not be about the texts. It should be about a real-life
application of one or more of the major ideas that we have covered during the quarter. You may
relate these ideas to an experience that you have had, to a local or international issue that is
important to you, to your future career or life plans, to a research project that you are looking
forward to, or anything else that you feel is worthwhile and illuminated by the ideas that we have
This essay will be workshopped during the last week of class. First drafts are due on
Friday, August 15. In assigned small groups, students will review each others papers and meet
on Monday August 18 or Tuesday August 19 to share feedback and generate ideas. A second
round of group reviews will take place in class on Thursday, August 21. Students who were
unable to share an update draft with their small group electronically by Wednesday August 20
will bring hard copies of their revision for each of their group members to class on Thursday.
Final drafts of this essay will be submitted via Canvas and are due on Friday August 22 at

Submission to MASA
The Medical Anthropology Student Association (MASA) is the student branch of the
Society for Medical Anthropology, which defines itself as follows:
The Society for Medical Anthropology is the worlds largest association of
professional and practicing medical anthropologists. One of the largest sections of
the American Anthropological Association, we serve medical anthropology
graduate students, practicing anthropologists, scholars, and scholar activists who
address issues of local, national, and international health importance. It is the hub
of an active research community and a storehouse for information supporting the
endeavors of medical anthropologists and their colleagues in allied social science
fields. (www.medanthro.net).
MASA maintains a well-read weblog that highlights student work and research.
MASA leadership is interested in publishing a new series that presents the work of
undergraduate students, especially essays written by undergraduates that explore the
utility of medical anthropological approaches in their lives or chosen career fields
(whether or not that chosen field is anthropology).
The final essays that students will write for this course constitute ideal
submissions for this blog. Students are not required but are highly encouraged to submit
their final essays for publication on the MASA blog at the end of the term.
Grade Disputes
The University of Washington has procedures in place to handle grading disputes and
appeals. This and other information about grading policies can be found online at

Student Expectations
Anticipated Absences
If you are unable to come to class due to illness, personal or family emergency, or any
other reason, you are responsible for informing the instructor prior to that class period. If you
miss class for a reason that was unforeseen (traffic accident, etc.), you are responsible for
informing the instructor as to the reason for your absence as soon as possible. The excusing of
absences is at the discretion of the instructor. If you are ill, you must bring a doctors note in
order for that absence to be excused.
Classroom Behavior and Preparation
All reading assignments are listed in the schedule on the day that they are due to be read
and will be discussed in class.
Things that I welcome you to do in the classroom include:
Eating and drinking.
Taking notes on a laptop or tablet.
Excusing yourself when necessary.
Telling me if something that we are doing in this course is really not working for you
(discussion format, course deadlines, etc.)
Things that I find very inappropriate to do in class:
Checking email/checking scores/Facebooking/doing anything that isnt class related on
your computer.
Texting, etc.
Cross talk and side conversations
Electronic Document Submission via Canvas
Whenever an assignment is submitted as an electronic document, it is the students
responsibility to make sure that the file is correct and complete. If an electronic document is
submitted and is unreadable or in anyway corrupted, the assignment will be considered
incomplete and late penalties will apply until a proper, functional document is submitted.
All written assignments should be submitted in .doc, .docx, or .pdf format. All filenames
should reflect the students name and the assignment.
Individual Student Needs and Disability Support
Every student deserves the opportunity learn in the best and most appropriate
environment possible. If you have a question, concern, comment, request or other need please
come and talk to me in person or send me a detailed e-mail as soon as possible. I can make
adjustments or accommodations for individuals or the entire class, but only if I am made aware
of them.
Students with medically recognized and documented disabilities and who are in need of
special accommodation have an obligation to notify the University of their needs. Students in
need of accommodation should contact the Office of Disability Resources for Students at 206-
543-8924 (Voice) or 206-543-8925 (TTY) You can also find more information online at
http://www.washington.edu/students/drs/. If you need course adaptations or accommodations
because of a disability, if you have emergency medical information, or if you need special
arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as
soon as possible
Academic Honesty
I take academic honesty very seriously. When flagrant cheating or plagiarism occurs, it is
an insult to me, to the students in this course, and to the guilty student. It is an insult to the time
we spend here teaching and learning from each other. Academic instruction, particularly in the
liberal arts, is unique in its focus on intellectual fluency and collaborative effort rather than task-
based competition and self-promotion. Your college education does not consist of a collection of
hoops that you need to get through. This course requires you to engage with course materials,
with other students, with the instructor, and with the greater academic community in a productive
and innovative fashion. Academic dishonesty defeats the purposes of this class and of this
institution, and it will not be tolerated.
Especially in a discipline that requires you to be able to engage with the ideas of others
and to cite multiple unique sources, plagiarism is an incredibly self-defeating activity. Plagiarism
is, at the very least, grounds for a zero grade for that assignment. If a student is suspected of
deliberate plagiarism on an assignment, that student will be reported to the Dean Representative
on academic Conduct in accordance with UWs Academic Honesty Policy.
More information on UWs academic honestly policies can be found online:
A Note For Parents
It has come to my attention that there are other teachers here at UW who are loathe to
accommodate you when your parenting responsibilities are competing with your school work. I
find this both appalling and deeply offensive. This is institutionalized discrimination. I
understand that school gets cancelled, that kids get sick, that pediatricians dont have another
appointment available until June. Parenting is not a free pass from the work due for this course,
but neither is this course a justification for me, as your instructor, to make demands of parents
that are fundamentally unreasonable. If your duties to care for your children come in the way of
your schoolwork, please inform me of your situation and together we will generate a plan for you
to complete what work you have missed or anticipate missing.

Course Schedule

Tuesday June 24: Introduction to ANTHROPOLOGY OF THE BODY. Watch Dreamworlds 3.
Thursday June 26: in BBP: (1) Introduction to Part I, (2) Marcel Mauss Techniques of the
Body, and (3) Terence Turners The Social Skin.
Reading Response #1 due Friday June 27 at 11:59pm
Tuesday July 1: in BBP: (1) Introduction to Part II and (2) Maurice Merleau-Pontys The
Phenomenology of Perception
Thursday July 3: in BBP: (1) Judith Butlers Bodies that Matter and (2) Bruno Latours Do You
Believe in Reality?
Reading Response #2 due Saturday July 5 at 11:59pm
Tuesday July 8: Michel Foucaults Birth of the Clinic: Chapter 2 (Political Consciousness),
Chapter 4 (Old Age of the Clinic) and Chapter 5 (The Lesson of the Hospitals)
Thursday July 10: Michel Foucaults Birth of the Clinic: Chapter 6 (Signs and Cases) and
Chapter 7 (Seeing and Knowing)
Reading Response #3 due Friday July 11 at 11:59pm
Tuesday July 15: Nancy Scheper-Hughes and Margaret Locks The Mindful Body: A
Prolegomenon to Future Work in Medical Anthropology
Tuesday July 22: in BBP: (1) Introduction to Part V, (2) Janice Boddys Remembering Amal:
On Birth and the British Northern Sudan, and (3) Susan Pedersens National
Bodies, Unspeakable Acts: The Sexual Politics of Colonial Policy Making
Thursday July 24: (1) Gerry Mackies Female Genital Cutting: A Harmless Practice? And (2)
Fuambai Ahmadus Rites and Wrongs: An Insider/Outsider Reflects on Power
and Excision
Reading Response #4 due Friday July 25 at 11:59pm

Tuesday July 29: in BBP: (1) Introduction to Part VI, (2) John Boswells Men, Beasts, and
Nature and (3) Emily Martins The Egg and the Sperm: How Science Has
Constructed a Romance Based on Stereotypical Male-Female Roles
Thursday July 31: (1) Gail Rubins Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of
Sexuality and (2) Kathleen Hannas Riot Grrrl Manifesto
Watch bell hooks Are You Still a Slave? Liberating the Black Female Body
Reading Response #5 due Friday August 1 at 11:59pm
Tuesday August 5: in BBP: (1) Matthew Schmidt and Lisa Jean Moores Constructing a Good
Catch, Picking a Winner: The Development of Technosemen and the
Deconstruction of the Monolithic Male and (2) Rayna Rapps Real-Time Fetus:
The Role of the Sonogram
Thursday August 7: (1) in BBP: Jose Van Dijcks BodyWorlds: The Art of Plastinated
Cadavers and (2) excerpts from Katherine Verderys The Political Lives of Dead
Reading Response #6 due Friday August 8 at 11:59pm
Tuesday August 12: Nikolas Roses The Politics of Life Itself: Introduction, Chapter 1
(Biopolitics in the Twenty-first Century), and Chapter 3 (An Emergent Form of
Thursday August 14: Nikolas Roses The Politics of Life Itself: Chapter 4 (At Genetic Risk)
and Chapter 6 (Race in the Age of Genomic Medicine)
First draft of your final essay due Friday August 15 at 11:59pm
Tuesday August 19: Paper conferences. NO CLASS MEETING
Thursday August 21: Final paper workshop in class.
Final papers Due Friday August 22 at 11:59pm