Thursdays, 1:00-3:30pm, Hale 455
Instructor: Dr. Kathryn Goldfarb
Overview: This graduate seminar has two major objectives. The first objective is to bring together ethnographic and philosophical texts on mental health and embodiment in order to build our own rigorously theorized models of embodiment that take seriously body and mind. The second objective is to consider the political stakes of studies of embodiment and mental health, and we will examine the ways that bodily experience and mental well-being and suffering are deeply connected to social and structural inequalities. Readings include ethnographies of mental health, canonical philosophical and anthropological approaches to embodiment, and feminist and queer theory scholarship on science and the body. Overarching themes are intersectional theories of well-being; psychiatry, colonialism, memory, and race; experience and interiority; knowledge production; bodily senses; and the brain and selfhood.
By the end of this seminar, students will have gained a broad understanding of major debates within medical anthropology (and specific understanding of psychological anthropology and anthropologies of embodiment), and developed analytical and theoretical tools to understand embodied experience as inherently culturally and historically specific, and always political.