HIST 4127 The Body Politic in Asia

October 16, 2019

HIST 4127 The Body Politic in Asia (GB) (HA-AS) (HNU) (HAN)

Monday: 10:10-12:05

Professor Kristin Roebuck

Visions of bodily corruption preoccupy ruler and ruled alike and prompt campaigns for moral, medical, and legal reform in periods of both stability and revolution.  This seminar explores the links between political, sexual, and scientific revolutions in early modern and modern Asia.  The focus is on China and Japan, with secondary attention to South Asia and Korea.  Interaction with the West is a major theme.  Topics include disease control, birth control and population control, body modification, the history of masculinity, honorific violence and sexual violence, the science of sex, normative and stigmatized sexualities, fashion, disability, and eugenics.  The course begins with an exploration of regimes of the body in “traditional” Asian cultures.  The course then turns to the medicalization and modernization of the body under the major rival political movements in Asia: feminism, imperialism, nationalism, and communism.


Photo author: Anson Wigner created for Roebuck, used by permission

Body Politic image created by Anson Wigner