Screening (Ab)normal Bodies - 2017

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 2017: Sem1
  • Availability for 2018: Sem1
  • Assessment: Assignment 1 (30%) , Assignment 2 (30%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 793.00
HECS 793.00
International 1,043.00

This unit was previously known as CLTX300 AbNormal Bodies.

Our bodies give us a world, and already have meaning, both for ourselves and others. We are directed at every level to align our bodies with cultural norms – but what about modes of embodiment that don't conform to what we generally understand as 'normal’? In this course, we turn our attention to unquestioned assumptions about what constitutes a ‘normal’ body, consider how these norms are created and think through the experiences of people whose modes of bodily being challenge the boundaries of the ‘normative’. The aim of this unit is to critically examine the ways in which various forms of (ab)normal embodiment are understood in contemporary culture and to explore the social, political and ethical effects of such understandings. Our critical examination may cover disability, pregnancy, fatness, ageing, surgical interventions and other forms of body modification.

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

  1. Identify the ways in which ‘the body’ is understood and experienced across a range of contexts.
  2. Interrogate key concepts around ‘the body’ and normalising practices, showing an awareness of debates around definitions of these terms.
  3. Effectively communicate a theoretically-informed account of the relationship between forms of knowledge and forms of embodied subjectivity and sociality.
  4. Use key methods of critical analysis to discuss social, economic, legal and/or medical practices which focus on bodily-being.
  5. Critically discuss ethics in contemporary practices and debates around normalisation of ‘the body’.
  • 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

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Contemporary theories of the body and embodiment
2(Ab) normalcy and (Dis) ability
4Mutilation or Modification
6Cosmetic Surgery
7'Non-mainstream' body modification
9Self-demand amputation/BIID?
10Circumcision or Genital Cutting

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 an approved elective 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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