Ritual, Health, and Healing|
Spring 2014 not offered
|Course Cluster: Service-Learning|
Modern medicine in its colonial and postcolonial history has long imagined itself in opposition to ritual and religious healing and as progress over "traditional" medicine. In this course, we will problematize this narrative historically, ethnographically, and methodologically. We will explore on the one hand the moral and material worlds of ritual and religious healing in a variety of settings and, on the other, the phenomenologies and politics of encounter between local systems of healing and state-sponsored medicines increasingly intent in the present moment on promoting secular and neoliberal models of global health and civil society. Topics include the intersections of illness, subjectivity, and socio-historical experience; spirit possession; shamanism; indigenous medicine; gender and healing; epistemologies of embodiment; colonialism and affliction; and alternative medicine.
In addition, through a weekly movement lab and because the body is so integral to human ritual, health, and healing, we will use physical explorations, exercises, and improvisations as an additional means of inquiry into concepts significant to the study of ritual and healing. Putting texts, con/texts, and soma in conversation, we will explore questions like: What kinds of mode of knowing are rituals? Why are bodies and embodiment so critical to healing rituals? How do rituals heal and what do they heal? What can rituals contribute to the health of individuals and communities as a political project? And how do rituals talk back to hegemonic systems?
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (SISP)(SISP-ScieDblMjr)
Michael Taussig, COLONIALISM, SHAMANISM, AND THE WILD MAN: A STUDY IN TERROR AND HEALING.
George Fields, RELIGIOUS THERAPEUTICS: BODY AND HEALTH IN YOGA, AYURVEDA, AND TANTRA.
Malidoma Some, OF WATER AND SPIRIT: RITUAL, MAGIC, AND INITIATION IN THE LIFE OF AN AFRICAN SHAMAN.
Frederique Apffel-Marglin, SUBVERSIVE SPIRITUALITIES: HOW RITUALS ENACT THE WORLD
William La Fleur, LIQUID LIFE: ABORTION AND BUDDHISM IN JAPAN
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Reflection journal, a short paper, and a collaborative service learning final project that includes a written analysis.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
Note about the movement lab: No prior experience with movement or somatic practices is required for this course. Participants without prior movement experience are especially encouraged to enroll! Participants need only have an open mind, an interest in moving, and a willingness to move in a group setting.
This course will be co-taught by the Center for Creative Research Fellow Jill Sigman, Artistic Director of jill sigman/thinkdance and Ph.D. in Philosophy, Princeton University.
This is a 1.5 credit course and it consists of four required parts: an introductory movement lab on Saturday February 4, led by Jill Sigman(10 am -4 pm); a weekly classroom seminar, held Monday afternoons (1:10 pm to 4 pm); a weekly movement lab, held on Tuesday evenings (7:30 pm - 9:30 pm); and three field trips to the St. Nicks community center in Brooklyn, NY, for the final service learning project. These fieldtrips are scheduled for Saturday March 31, Saturday April 7, and the weekend of April 21-22. Note: There will be no movement labs on Tuesdays January 31, April 10, and April 17.
For the final service learning project, students will meet with members of the St. Nicks neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY, collect oral histories and other documents, and in collaboration with the community, create, design, and realize a commemorative ritual installation/performance at the St. Nicks community center.
Please carefully assess your ability to meet and commit to these requirements before enrolling. You can contact Professor Gillian Goslinga at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
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