Framing the Body: The Intersection of Psychology and Medicine

Open—Fall

This seminar will explore the ways in which the body exists at the intersection of our stories and experiences. Drawing upon phenomenology and narrative psychology, we will investigate the relationships between pain and language, illness and healing, and doctors and patients, as well as the myriad ways in which culture, identity, age, and health frame our daily experiences of living within our bodies. In the past two decades, the body has received an enormous amount of theoretical attention in the social sciences. Why is that so? How can inquiries into issues about the body help us rethink traditional questions asked by psychologists? Key topics in the course will include: physical trauma and its aftermath, the power of the medical profession, body modification, the varieties of healing, and performance. The readings will encompass the work of psychologists, patients, doctors, memoirists, philosophers, dancers, and others. Coursework will include essays, response papers, and presentations.