This semester we will explore bodies in relation to spectrality, invisibility and absence. We will spend the first part of our semester tackling readings that will give us the chance to familiarize and problematize notions of body/mind and embodiment. From here we will enter a discussion into invisibility from perspectives that will intersect with race, gender, and class. What determines invisibility and what is its relation to power and authority? What is the role of camouflage? Is there a gateway to invisibility? How does absence/disappearance (forced, imposed, chosen) take its form in our own perception of space and place? How does the body occupy a space of non-belonging? These and other questions will also allow us to explore bodies in connection to activism: how might invisibility be a way to resist as a dissenting strategy? How can it be viewed as an assigned narrative of predetermined failure? As final projects you will be encouraged among other themes, to study ghosts as metaphors for absences/disappearances, as a phenomenon in the context of war, conflict, folklore, or personal narratives.
Readings on CANVAS
1) Elizabeth Grosz, "Refiguring Bodies"
2) Avery F. Gordon, “Her shape and his hand”
3) Avery F. Gordon, “the other door, its floods of tears with consolation enclosed”
4) Digital Storytelling TBD
5) Michel Foucault, "Docile Bodies" “What kind of case is a case of a ghost? It is a case of haunting, a story about what happens when we admit the ghost—that special instance of the merging of the visible and the invisible, the dead and the living, the past and the present—into the making of worldly relations and into the making of our accounts of the world. It is a case of the difference it makes to start with the marginal, with what we normally exclude or banish, or, more commonly, with what we never even notice.” From Ghostly Matters by Avery F. Gordon