Gender, Culture, and Madness
WOMEN, GENDER, AND SEXUALITY STUDIES 3201
This course will explore the relationships among gender constructs, cultural values, and definitions of mental health and illness. Understandings of the proper roles, sensibilities, emotions, and dispositions of women and men are often culturally and morally loaded as indicators of the "proper" selves permitted in a given context. Across cultures, then, gender often becomes an expressive idiom for the relative health of the self. Gender identities or presentations that run counter to these conventions are frequently identified as disordered and in need of fixing. In this course, we will take up these issues through three fundamental themes: the social and cultural (re)production of gendered bodies and dispositions; the normalization of these productions and the subsequent location of "madness" in divergent or dissonant experiences of embodiment; and the situation of discourses of "madness" within debates of resistance and conformity, selfhood and agency.
Course Attributes: EN S; BU Eth; BU BA; AS SSC; AS SD I; FA SSC; AR SSC; CFH MHA; AS SC