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Mind, Body, and Society (HI176)


This 30 CATS team-taught first-year option module will introduce students to concepts in the history of the body and mind, and how they have been framed across place and time. We will cover a wide thematic range -- from changing medical constructs of health and disease, to the moral judgments placed upon unruly bodies and behaviours. Far from remaining static over time, the constitution of 'normal' and 'abnormal' minds and bodies will be shown to have changed dramatically from the early modern period to the present day. Geographically, this module will provide global perspectives on a range of topics, with case studies focused on Europe, North America, Russia, and beyond. Lectures will be delivered by the academic staff of the History Department's Centre for the History of Medicine.

Lectures in term one will introduce basic concepts, sources and historiographic trends, as well as some key ideas, events, practices and participants that have shaped attitudes towards physical and mental properties. Lectures in term two will explore relevant themes from a range of different historical and historiographical perspectives. Topics in term three will tackle contemporary ethical concerns and debates, drawing on historical and interdisciplinary perspectives. Workshops at the end of terms one and two will equip students to start doing their own primary-source research and how to construct effective historical arguments.

Because the module covers such wide-ranging topics, periods and terrains, it is especially important that you keep up with the required readings, all of which are available online via e-journals, e-books, and online course extracts. If you are unfamiliar with or cannot access ANY of these resources, please contact the Module Convenor right away for help.

For more information, please see:

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