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Skidmore College
First-Year Experience

Scribner Seminar Program
Course Description

Bodies and Identities

Instructor(s): Jessica Sullivan, Psychology

It’s difficult to imagine human existence in the absence of a body. This class focuses on understanding how the properties of our bodies shape our identities. In other words, in what ways do our bodies make us who we are? This course will address the roles of skin, muscle, genitalia, DNA, fat, and brain in constructing our many identities. We will learn about philosophical and theoretical perspectives on the relationship between bodies and identities, drawing on sources from a range of disciplines such as critical race studies, gender studies, sexuality studies, disability studies, biology, psychology, dance, and film. By focusing on bodies in transition (i. e., bodies that are intentionally or unintentionally changed), we will interrogate the question: when and how do the properties of our bodies impact our identities? As an important note, this course includes some material that may be sensitive for some students (e. g., sexual assault, violence, eating practices, and body modification).


Course Offered: