Anthropology of the Body

Please note: this is archived course information from 2023 for ANTHRO 354.


This course examines cultural and historical variations in how societies understand and experience the human body. Our focus will be primarily on social, historical and political-economic approaches. Considering an array of topics such as labour, sport, health, illness, sexuality, gender and ethnic violence, we will explore how the human body is culturally constructed and socially experienced in a diverse range of settings.

Course Objectives:

  • To expand students’ awareness of the human body as a culturally- and historically-situated object
  • For students to become familiar with some of the major theoretical approaches to the body, particularly the work of M. Douglas, P. Bourdieu and M. Foucault
  • For students to successfully undertake independent research on a topic of their choice
  • For students to work together in small groups in order to develop an in-depth understanding and assessment of one set of readings
  • To foster an environment in which students develop their own perspectives by engaging in critical debate with one another

Availability 2023

Not taught in 2023


Lecturer(s) Professor Susanna Trnka


ANTHRO 354: 15 points


ANTHRO 203 or 30 points at Stage II in Anthropology