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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: DANM005 Module Title: THEORIES OF EMBODIMENT
Module Provider: Dance,Film & Theatre Short Name: EMBODIMENT
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: DODDS S Dr (Dnc Flm Thtr)
Number of credits: 20 Number of ECTS credits: 10
Module Availability

Autumn Semester

Assessment Pattern
Components of Assessment
Percentage weighting
4000 word essay
Module Overview
Module Aims
  • To examine in depth a range of theoretical models which investigate the construction of the body.
  • To implement critical strategies using these models to inform understanding of movement practice.
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge and Understanding:
  • A critical understanding of how dance practice can interrogate body constructs.
  • An in depth awareness of a range of theoretical models which investigate the construction of the body.
  • A critical engagement with how the body is described and perceived through a range of frameworks.
  • An advanced comprehension of how models of constructing the body can be utilised to inform understanding of movement practice.
Cognitive/Intellectual Skills:
  • Ability to critically analyse contradictory and complex examples of theories of the body.
  • Ability to rigorously assess disciplinary frameworks and expose their limitations and to construct arguments for alternative approaches.
  • Ability to relate concepts of the body to a range of movement practices.
  • Ability to formulate new ideas from a critical examination of theories of embodiment in relation to movement practices.
Practical/Key/Research Skills:
  • Ability to debate using developed written and verbal academic language.
  • Ability to engage independently with a range of resources, using them to stimulate and support argument.
  • Ability to collect and collate resource materials independently.
  • Ability to identify contradictions and problems when applying theoretical frameworks to movement practice.
Module Content
  • The module examines different constructions of the body taken from cultural studies, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, history and biology. It will use these disciplinary frameworks as a springboard to interrogate the idea of embodiment in dance. The module will assess, through examining movement practices, how body constructs can be critiqued and how theoretical models relate to movement practices.
  • Content is chosen from a wide range of body constructs, such as the body social, the consumer body and commodified body, the body historical, the disciplined body, body economics, body art and modification, the body anthropological, the technological/Cyber body, the medical body and the body of science, the body biological, the body cultural and the mind-body debate.
  • The module provides research preparation and training in the analysis and critique of key concepts, theories and ideas. This will be realised through oral debate, student presentations and written forms. Students will be supported in developing appropriate methods and skills and, where relevant, practical techniques.
  • The construction, positioning within current scholarship and defence of arguments is expected from all students through the methods of seminar presentation, debate and essay writing. Within presentations, students will be encouraged to incorporate electronic media and/or practical demonstration where appropriate.
Methods of Teaching/Learning

Lectures, seminars, group discussions, self-directed research

Selected Texts/Journals
Required Reading :
Burrows, Roger & Featherstone, Mike (eds) Cyberspace Cyberbodies Cyberpunk. London : Sage, 1995.
Elias, Norbert. The Civilizing Process, Vol.1, The History of Manners, Oxford : Blackwell, 1978 (first published 1939).
Featherstone, Mike. (ed) Body Modification, London : Sage, 2000.
Haber, Honi Fern & Weiss, Gail. (eds) Perspectives on Embodiment: The Intersection of Nature and Culture, London : Routledge, 1999.
Shilling, Chris. The Body and Social Theory, London : Sage, 1993.
Thomas, Helen. The Body, Dance and Cultural Theory, Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.
Turner, Bryan S. Regulating Bodies: Essays in Medical Sociology, London : Routledge, 1992.
Welton, Donn. (ed) Body and Flesh: A Philosophical Reader, Oxford : Blackwell, 1998.
Recommended reading:
Blacking, John. (ed) The Anthropology of the Body, ASA Monograph 15, London : Academic Press, 1977.
Desmond, Jane, C. (ed) Meaning in Motion: New Cultural Studies of Dance, Durham : Duke University Press, 1997.
Featherstone, Mike, Hepworth, Mike and Turner Bryan S. (eds) The Body: Social Processes and Cultural Theory, London : Sage, 1991.
Polhemus, Ted. (ed) Social Aspects of the Human Body, Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1978.
Turner, Bryan S. The Body and Society, Oxford : Basil Blackwell, 1984.
Weiss, Gail. Body Images: Embodiment as Corporeality, New York : Routledge, 1999.
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