Biomorality and the Politics of Bodies and Identities in American Culture

Mark Schuster (Dean of Students, Rutgers–New Brunswick)

The American body has been transformed over time physically, politically, medically, socially and culturally. The body and its negotiated identities are “covered,” “passed” and “performed” through the lens of gender, sexuality, race, socioeconomic class, ability, politics and public health. Film, social media, fashion, art, music, sport, written word, and pop culture will be sites to critically explore spaces of the body politic. Body fascism and fashion; bodies at war; falling bodies (figure skating, gymnastics, high wire and circus acts); smashing and injured bodies (NASCAR, football, soccer and other collision sports) and reassembled bodies (prosthetics, bioengineered, and enhancements for aging bodies) will be interrogated in the context of “healthy” and “unhealthy” bodies. The use and impact of technology, robotics, and fantasy will be examined from playing with Barbie dolls and action figures to intersecting identities such as athletics, geeks, Marvel comics, Comic Con, Trekkies and science fiction.

Course Number: 
01:090:101 section 82 index 11773