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Dr. Martha Selby, Chair 120 INNER CAMPUS DR STOP G9300 WCH 4.134 78712-1251 • 512-471-5811

Spring 2007

ANS 381 • Body, Self, Culture in East Asia-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
30655 MW
5:00 PM-6:30 PM
MEZ 2.126
Boretz, A.

Course Description

East Asian concepts of body and self differ in fundamental ways from modern, western notions. This course explores East Asian-primarily Chinese, Japanese, and Korean-understandings of personhood and selfhood, looking in particular at the ways culture is produced, reproduced, and modified through bodily practices. Topics covered include traditional conceptions of the body and self in East Asian cultures; body training and self-cultivation; modes and meanings of body modification (for example, tattooing and self-mutilation in East Asian gangster society and in contemporary East Asian youth cultures); gender and sexuality; the influence of western popular culture and globalization on body image and self-concept; somatization and illness in East Asian cultures; "face" and the social self; and sports. There are four writing assignments spread out over the semester: two short review essays, a reaction paper due at the end of Week 7, and a final paper, due at the end of the semester, which should be developed out of issues, topics, and preliminary research discussed in the reaction paper. Students are also expected to participate in class discussions, which will cover and feed into the formal writing assignments. No proficiency in an Asian language is required. With prior permission, however, participants may use Asian language materials in preparing discussions and projects.

Grading Policy

Writing: 2 review essays @2 pages (20%) 1 reaction paper @5 pages (15%) 1 final paper @8-10 pages (50%) Participation: Attendance and participation in class discussion (15%)


Course reader available in hard copy form and on eReserves. Some assignments also include audiovisual components distributed over the campus network and/or optical media.


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