Critical Studies

Summer Session 2016

Continuing CCA student registration for on-campus summer courses March 4-27; registration for nondegree students begins on March 28.

Foundations in Critical Studies: Embodiment / Online

Instructor: Rebekah Edwards
Prerequisite: Writing 1 and Intro to the Arts
June 20-August 12

This course is offered entirely online. Students must have access to their CCA Google account, a high-speed internet connection, and either a laptop or desktop computer throughout the course dates.

Our bodies are us, but they are not only us, because they are also the medium of our interface with the larger world. Our embodiment is always shaped in relationship to memory, experiences of intimacy, senses and physical abilities, personal and cultural histories, institutional structures and policies, cultural norms, emotions and fantasies, fashion, and so on. In this course we engage with creative practitioners, activists, theorists, and cultural critics whose work explores the physical aspects of being human. With their help, we raise and discuss questions about how people experience embodiment; how we negotiate our embodied interactions with others; and how those negotiations intersect with larger cultural configurations, paying special attention to creative practices that emerge from and elaborate on embodied experience. We look at variances of embodiment in a culturally diverse world and cover controversial subjects related to the intersections of nationality, race, ethnicity, gender, class, ability, sexuality, and gender identity/expression as a means to stimulate critical thinking that help to generate discussion. Because this is an online course, we also explore these topics in relation to virtual embodiment and questions of proximity, temporality, and affect.

Critical thinking is the active, persistent, and careful consideration of a belief or form of knowledge, the grounds that support it, and the conclusions that follow. It involves analyzing and evaluating one's own thinking and that of others. Critical thinking usually rests on reading and written communication skills, on scientific method, or on some combination of both. In this online course we strive for an embodied, as well as an intellectual, understanding of our central theme as we pay close attention to our own bodies and the bodies around us, both flesh-bound and virtual. (3 credits)

This course satisfies the Foundations in Critical Studies requirement.