Ab/Normal Bodies - 2016

This unit contains mature content including Adult Themes, Coarse Language, Drug use, Nudity, Sex / Sexual References and Violence and may not be suitable for some students.
Any student under the age of 16 who would like to enrol in this unit must first complete a Parental Consent Form.

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 3
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: SP2 , SP4
  • Availability for 2017: Sem1
  • Assessment: Assignment 1 (30%) , Assignment 2 (30%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2016 Fees
Domestic 782.00
HECS 782.00
International 1,032.00

This unit was previously known as CLTX300 AbNormal Bodies.

Theorists, artists, gossip mag editors, philosophers and just about every other type of cultural commentator has had something to say about bodies and the way they help us understand ourselves and each other. In this course we look at how the concept of the body relates to personal, but also community identities, asking who gets to have their hands on what body, and why. From tattooing to mutilation, ritual practice to pleasurable augmentation, we look at a series of case studies, exploring how the clothes (and the rest we do with our bodies) make the man, woman and child.

In short: A series of debates, examples and case studies about bodily practice, experience and its consequences from a variety of cultural and historical perspectives. Sometimes relatable, sometimes challenging, it’s an interesting body of work (sorry- we couldn’t help it!)

At the completion of this unit students have developed the following skills:

  1. understand the changing ways in which 'the body' is conceptualised and experienced
  2. evaluate and apply a number of key issues and debates currently associated with particular forms of embodiment and body practices
  3. synthesise/create a theoretically-informed understanding of the relationship between forms of knowledge and form of embodied subjectivity and sociality
  4. analyse and evaluate the political, ethical and legal dimensions of bodily transformation in its many and varied forms.
  • Assignment 1 (30%)
  • Assignment 2 (30%)
  • Assignment 3 (40%)

Equivalent units

You cannot enrol in this unit if you have successfully completed any of the following unit(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • CLTX300 — AbNormal Bodies
  • Additional materials
  • Audio/Visual equipment
  • Broadband access — Students are required to have regular access to a computer and the internet. Mobile devices alone are not sufficient.
  • Other special requirement — Admission to degree required

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Concept 1: Body Projects: Contemporary theories of the body and embodiment
2Concept 2: (Ab) normalcy and (Dis) ability
3Concept 3: Choice
4Concept 4: Mutilation or Modification
5Concept 5: Suffering
6Practice 1: Cosmetic Surgery
7Practice 2: 'Non-mainstream' body modification
8Practice 3: Transgenderism
9Practice 4: Self-demand amputation/BIID?
10Practice 5: Circumcision or Genital Cutting
11Practice 6: Intersex

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Glossary
  • Online assignment submission
  • Standard Media
  • Streaming Multimedia
  • Web links

Online materials

  • Resources and Links

This unit is part of a major, minor, stream or specialisation in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.
This unit does not have a prescribed textbook(s).

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