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Imperial Bodies: the Classical Body, Self, and Society (CLA3121)

30 credits

The body is often assumed to be a natural, unchanging, biologically ┬ádetermined thing; this module challenges that view by unpacking the complex history of the body in the ancient world and beyond. It examines the ways in which different cultural discourses approached the male and female body in antiquity, including medicine, philosophy, sporting activity, artistic representation, rhetorical and fictional literature, and how that “Classical body” was adopted and adapted by later western societies. You will explore not only how different views of the body emerged in different cultural contexts, but how these competing approaches intersected and informed one another to construct what is often simply (and simplistically) called the “Classical body".