Warning! This unit contains mature content 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.

Subject details

At the completion of this subject 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’.
    • Contemporary theories of the body
    • (Ab) normalcy
    • Dis/ability
    • Choice
    • Mutilation or Modification
    • Suffering
    • Cosmetic Surgery
    • 'Non-mainstream' body modification
    • Transgenderism
    • Circumcision or Genital Cutting
    • Intersex
  • Study resources

    • Instructional methods

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

      • Resources and Links

Equivalent subjects

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

  • MAQ-CLTX300

Special requirements

  • EquipmentDetails - Audio/Visual equipment
  • OtherDetails -
    • Additional materials

This subject 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 degree, 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 subject 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.

  • Assignment 1 (15%)
  • Assignment 2 (20%)
  • Assignment 3 (20%)
  • Assignment 4 (45%)

Textbooks are not required.

Related degrees

undergraduate MAQ-ART-DEG-2018

Bachelor of Arts

  • Major in Ancient History
  • Major in English
  • Major in Modern History
  • Major in Philosophy
  • Major in Politics
  • Major in Society and Culture
  • Major in Sociology