Spring 2015 -
Undergraduate Course Description
Discipline and Number
4:00 PM - 5:15 PM
|Mismeasure of Man
Description of Course:
This course examines and critiques the ways that American society, science, and culture has tried to quantify and measure humans. People have historically been ranked physically and intellectually in the name of science and progress, though the methods and outcomes were sometimes hardly â€œscientificâ€ or â€œprogressive.â€ From the construction of â€œthe normal manâ€ arises the notion of â€œthe abnormalâ€ or â€œthe defective man.â€ We will explore historical constructions of normality, disability, sanity, madness, and approaches to treatment, eugenics, and reformation.
We will examine historical and critical works, fiction, memoir, and film.
Readings may include:
The Mismeasure of Man, Stephen Jay Gould. (1981/1996) Selections.
The Disability Studies Reader, 4th ed. (2013) Selections.
Intuition, Allegra Goodman (2006)
Darwinâ€™s Radio, Greg Bear (1999)
Geek Love, Katherine Dunn. (1983)
â€œFade to White,â€ Catherynne Valente. (2012)
Tomorrowâ€™s Children (1934) Â¬Â¬
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
Course requirements will likely include:
Discussion Questions turned in before class
Midterm and final take-home essay exams
Active course participation