ENGL531

Special Topic: Literature and the Medicalised Body

'Odd to think that the piece of you I know best is already dead. The cells on the surface of your skin are thin and flat without blood-vessels or nerve-endings.' - Jeanette Winterson, 'The Cells, Tissues, Systems and Cavities of the Body'. This paper explores literature's engagement with the medicalised body and mind, mapping out the arts' responses to medical advances, beginning with the mid-nineteenth century and ending at the present day. We will study late nineteenth-century reactions to the scare of germs, vaccinations, and nervous disorders, move through the dark period of eugenics in the early twentieth century, and arrive at contemporary engagements with immune diseases and cancer, looking too at current political usages of the medicalised body. Incorporating film, novels, short stories, plays, and poetry, this paper will also draw on philosophical and medical texts to engage with illnesses and disorders in the body, mind, and nation-state. Authors such as G.B. Shaw, Samuel Beckett, Donna Haraway, Susan Sontag, Gerald Callahan, and Peter Sloterdijk will be included.

'Odd to think that the piece of you I know best is already dead. The cells on the surface of your skin are thin and flat without blood-vessels or nerve-endings.' - Jeanette Winterson, 'The Cells, Tissues, Systems and Cavities of the Body'. This paper explores literature's engagement with the medicalised body and mind, mapping out the arts' responses to medical advances, beginning with the mid-nineteenth century and ending at the present day. We will study late nineteenth-century reactions to the scare of germs, vaccinations, and nervous disorders, move through the dark period of eugenics in the early twentieth century, and arrive at contemporary engagements with immune diseases and cancer, looking too at current political usages of the medicalised body. Incorporating film, novels, short stories, plays, and poetry, this paper will also draw on philosophical and medical texts to engage with illnesses and disorders in the body, mind, and nation-state. Authors such as G.B. Shaw, Samuel Beckett, Donna Haraway, Susan Sontag, Gerald Callahan, and Peter Sloterdijk will be included.

Paper Information

Points: 30.0
Internal assessment / examination: 100:0

Semesters and Locations

Occurrence Code When taught Where taught
18B (HAM)B Semester : Jul 09 - Nov 04, 2018 Hamilton

Timetabled Lectures for Special Topic: Literature and the Medicalised Body (ENGL531)

DayStartEndRoomDates
Thu10:00 AM1:00 PMTC.4.08Jul 9 - Oct 14

NB:There may be other timetabled events for this paper such as tutorials or workshops.
Visit the online timetable for ENGL531 for more details


Indicative Fees for Special Topic: Literature and the Medicalised Body (ENGL531)

Occurrence Domestic International
 Tuition Resource 
18B (HAM) $1898 $0 $7165
You will be sent an enrolment agreement which will confirm your fees.
Tuition fees shown below are indicative only and may change. There are additional fees and charges related to enrolment - please see the Table of Fees and Charges for more information.

Paper Outlines

Paper outlines are currently not available for this paper. Please contact the Faculty or School office for further details.

Additional Information

Available Subjects:  English

Other available years: Special Topic: Literature and the Medicalised Body - ENGL531 (2017)

Paper details current as of : 13 December 2017 3:08pm
Indicative fees current as of : 16 December 2017 4:30am

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