The Rhetoric of the Science of Life and Death
107 | CCN: 33152
Instructor: Jennifer Lum
Tu/Th 3:30pm-5:00pm, Dwinelle 182 ///
This course will explore the meanings and embodied practices of living and dying in American culture. What has it meant to be alive, healthy, and/ or at risk for disease, and how have these notions changed since the mid- 20th century? Turning to scholarship by selected thinkers such as Adele Clarke, Michel Foucault, Alondra Nelson, Adriana Petryna, Paul Rabinow, and Nikolas Rose, the course will examine the biopolitics of reproduction, stem cell research, DNA ancestry testing, age-related dementia, and more. We will examine how various techno-medical, legal, political, and social narratives about these phenomena have shaped not only what it means to be alive, but to be human, to be susceptible, to be responsible, to be a citizen, and to be a member of society. Along the way, we will explore the history and politics of self-care, health activism, and health communities, as well as emergent possibilities for civic participation.