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Minding the Body

Edited by Katherine McAlvage and Martina Miles


Minding the Body introduces the concept of embodiment theory. The first section of the casebook explicitly explores embodiment theory, including the Cartesian dualistic perspective on the mind/body relationship, disability theory, queer theory and performance studies. The latter sections of the casebook put the theoretical ideas to use in the context of practical, real-world issues. These sections will look at the presence of bodies in space, as well as looking at the repercussions of social systems on bodies.


Unit 1: Normal or Normative?

  • Theory:
    • “Constructing Normalcy”, Lennard J. Davis
  • Case Studies:
    • “Disability, Identity, and Representation: An Introduction”, Rosemarie Garland-Thomson
    • “Harry Potter and the Allure of Separatism”, Cal Montgomery
    • “Follow Up: Tumblr’s New Policy Against Pro-Self Harm Blogs”, Tumblr Staff
    • “Facts about the Americans with Disabilities Act”
    • “The Principles of Universal Design”

Unit 2: Mediated Gender

  • Theory:
    • “Body Ritual Among the Nacirema”, Horace Miner
  • Case Studies:
    • “The End of Men”, Hanna Rosin
    • “Building a Better Action Hero”, Logan Hill
    • “The National Conversation in the Wake of Littleton is Missing the Mark”, Jackson Katz and Sut Jhally

Unit 3: Policing Bodies

  • Theory:
    • “Dance as a Way of Knowing”, Celeste Snowber
  • Case Studies:
    • “Our Absurd Fear of Fat”, Paul Campos
    • “Why Women Aren’t Welcome on the Internet”, Amanda Hess
    • “Who Gets to Be a Superhero?”, Gene Demby
    • “The First Black President Has Made It Harder to Talk About Race in America”, Reniqua Allen