2010-11 Catalog

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Offering Description

Bodies of Knowledge

Fall, Winter and Spring quarters

Faculty: Rita Pougiales anthropology, education, Joseph Tougas (F,W) philosophy, Donald Morisato genetics, molecular biology

Fields of Study: anthropology, biology, consciousness studies, history, literature and philosophy

Fall: CRN (Credit) Level 10014 (16) Fr; 10016 (16) So - Sr; 10644 (1-16)  

Winter: Enrollment Accepting New Students  CRN (Credit) Level 20014 (16) Fr; 20015 (16) So - Sr; 20661 (1-16)  Signature Required This program will accept new enrollment, with faculty signature. Admittance will be based on a background of at least one quarter of college-level biology, a writing sample, and completion of selected reading assignments from the previous quarter. Interested students should contact Rita Pougiales at pougiale@evergreen.edu or meet with the faculty at the Academic Fair December 1, 2010.  

Spring: Enrollment Accepting New Students  CRN (Credit) Level 30014 (16) Fr; 30016 (16) So - Sr; 30505 (12)  Signature Required Admittance will be based on a writing sample and completion of selected reading assignments from previous quarters.  

Credits: 16(F); 16(W); 16(S)

Class Standing: Freshmen - Senior; 50% of the seats are reserved for freshmenFreshmen - Senior

Offered During: Day

Academic Website: http://blogs.evergreen.edu/bodiesofknowledge


The human body has long been a natural locus of study, interpretation, and storytelling. Corporeal existence has been conceptualized and experienced in radically different ways across time and across cultures, conceived as an irreducible whole by some, and as an amalgam of separate systems or individual elements by others. How has our philosophical and biological conception of the body changed over time? How is the body used to find or express meaning? What is the relationship of the body to the mind and the soul?

In this program, we will explore the nature and essence of the body, and reflect on the experience of being human. Knowledge about the body and our lived experiences within our bodies have been created from the culturally distinct perspectives of biologists, social scientists, artists, philosophers and storytellers. We will read philosophical and historical texts, and closely analyze some of the ideas that have helped shape our conception of the body. We will study the genetic development and biological function of the body, carrying out experiments in the laboratory to get a direct sense of the process of scientific investigation. Finally, we will read novels and look at and create art as other ways of engaging with the body, particularly the physical manifestation and representation of emotion. Throughout our inquiry, we will attentively ask how we have come to know what we claim to know.

Our investigations will follow a particular progression. In fall quarter, we will consider the body: the history of the conception of the body, images of the body and notions of beauty, the body as the site of meaning-making, medical imaging and genetic approaches to deciphering the development of the human organism. In winter quarter, we will examine aspects of the mind: the Cartesian dualism, the functional organization of the brain, processes of cognition, measuring intelligence, use of language and the importance of emotions. In spring quarter, we will explore the notion of the soul: death and burial rituals in different cultures, philosophical and literary investigations of the soul, ethics and religion. Over the year, we anticipate reading such authors as Michel Foucault, Rene Descartes, Martha Nussbaum, Barbara Duden, Anne Fadiman, Oliver Sacks, Antonio Damasio, Stephen Jay Gould, Henry James and Marcel Proust.

Maximum Enrollment: 69

Preparatory for studies or careers in: epistemology, cultural anthropology, genetics, neurobiology, history of medicine, and the liberal arts and natural sciences.

Campus Location: Olympia

Online Learning: Enhanced Online Learning

Books: www.tescbookstore.com

Program Revisions

Date Revision
April 30th, 2010 Joe Tougas has joined the teaching team for Fall and Winter.