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Junior Colloquium: Biopolitics, Animality, and Posthumanism

AMST 203
Spring 2020 not offered
Course Cluster: Animal Studies, Disability Studies, Queer Studies

This course asks what it would mean for the field of cultural studies to begin to include the category of the "human" within investigations of more traditional categories of social difference (including race, gender, sexuality, and so on). Historically, the category of the human has been taken for granted, as a biological marker imbued with particular intellectual and physical capabilities. Relatedly, the discourse of the human is often invoked in movements for political equality, inclusion, and enfranchisement (i.e., the call to "human rights"). Yet recent literature within the field of American studies broadly, and, more specifically, within the area of critical animal studies, has called these assumptions into question. In this junior colloquium, we will explore these critical turns in the field by considering the boundaries between the animal, human, and technological realms.

Important concepts addressed will include the utilization of animals as research subjects, food, and labor; the "nonhuman personhood" movement; intersectionalities between ideas of social difference and the posthuman; concepts of disability, debility, and capacity; technological enhancements of the human body; and cybercultural identities. Students will have the opportunity to engage with a wide variety of materials, including writing from the areas of critical race studies, feminist theory, and postcolonial theory. (Note: Students need not have familiarity with biopolitical theory; rather, the course will provide a primer in this area during the beginning weeks of the semester.)
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS AMST
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (AMST)(ANST-MN)(STS)

Last Updated on JUL-21-2024
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