RHE 309K: Rhetoric of the Body (Spring 2008)

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Of physiology from top to toe I sing
Not physiognomy alone nor brain alone is worthy for the Muse,
I say the Form complete is worthier far
-Walt Whitman

This course is a study of the ways bodies have been argued on, with, and about in regards to understandings of identity, both communal and individual. The class investigates the rhetorical strategies behind such representations: how these arguments might buffer regimes of power, how they might be taken up in defiance as a mode of self-determination, and even how an expanding idea of corporeal limits might change the way we think about the body.