Faculty of Arts


EUROPEAN 308

Special Topic: “Freaks”: Exhibiting Monstrosities and Inventing Disability


Description

This course will study from an anthropological and historical point of view the images of human “oddities” as well as the discourses about them, from the marketplace where, in traditional European society, human monsters were exhibited, to the nineteenth century invention of Freak-Shows and the later emergence of disability. It will do so by examining the visual culture of streets and fairgrounds, postcards and movies, and, finally, the contemporary iconography of disability.

The course has two main goals:

  1. By studying the extremely popular practice of showing and staging abnormal bodies throughout European history till the Nineteenth Century, it will show how sensibilities in popular culture and mass entertainment have dramatically changed in Europe in the course of the Twentieth Century.
  2. In the context of the invention of disability, it will question the production, circulation and reception of the European visual culture of human bodily deformity.

Availability 2018

Not taught in 2018

Lecturer(s)

TBA

Assessment

2 essays, 20% (1500 words) and 30% (2500 words)

One 2-hour final exam, 50%

Points

EUROPEAN 308: 15.0 points

Prerequisites

30 points at Stage II in BA courses

Restrictions

EUROPEAN 209


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