Bodies: A Digital Companion


A methodology is a systematic procedure or theoretical framework that can be used to study a particular subject. A broad range of methodologies in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities have been used to study the body depending on research question. In COR 240: Bodies, you will not be dissecting anything or learning about human anatomy. Rather, you will be using methodological tools that are important in the liberal arts and humanities.

The first is interpretive textual analysis, which you will use when you analyze different representations of the body in the arts and popular culture. Simply stated, interpretive textual analysis "decodes" the meaning of the artifact under question whether it be a painting, film, story, essay, or performance. The second is contextual analysis. Both interpretive textual analysis and contextual analysis look at texts, but the latter focuses on using texts to understanding the cultural situation of the time and place when and where the text was created. 

The third methodology you will learn about and use is phenomenology, or the study of "phenomena" or direct experience. Phenomenology is both an important philosophical tradition and series of methods researchers used to study experience. For the body project, you will be designing and implementing your own phenomenological research project about an embodied experience. 

Author Information
Katheryn Wright, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Core Division
Champlain College

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