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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Economic and Social History

Undergraduate Course: The Making of the Modern Body (ECSH08042)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course explores how the human body has been understood, experienced and regulated in the past. A wide range of 'bodies' are considered, including the male and female body, the degenerate body, the freakish body, the robotic body, and the dead body. A wide and comparative approach is taken of the Western body, c.1450 to the present.
Course description This course aims to provide students with a firm understanding of how the physical body has been understood, experienced and regulated in the modern West. Topics will include monstrous births and the rise of the 'freak show', corporal punishment and changing ways of disciplining the body, medical experimentation and anatomical dissection, and the social significance of changing fashions in clothing and hair. In addition to its thematic focus on the history of the body, the course is distinctive through its comparative approach - we will explore the social history of the human body in Britain and its Colonies, Europe and America, and take a long-term view by covering both the early-modern and late-modern periods.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students must have at least 1 introductory level History course at grade B or above for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination, a sound knowledge of how the human body has been conceptualised and controlled over time and between places;
  2. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination, an ability to assimilate a variety of sources (primary and secondary) and formulate critical opinions on them;
  3. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination, an ability to research, structure and complete written work of a specified length, and within a specified time;
  4. demonstrate an ability to make informed contributions to class discussion and contribute to a group oral presentation;
  5. demonstrate an ability to organise their own learning, manage their workload, and work to a timetable.
Reading List
A. W. Bates, Emblematic Monsters: Unnatural Conceptions and Deformed Births in Early Modern Europe (2005)

W. F. Bynum and Linda Kalof (eds), A Cultural History of the Human Body, 6 volumes (2010)

Ana Carden-Coyne, Reconstructing the Body: Classicism, Modernism, and the First World War (2009)

Diana Crane, Fashion and its Social Agendas. Class, Gender and Identity in Clothing (2000)

Roger Cooter and John Pickstone (eds), Companion to Medicine in the Twentieth Century (2003)

Norbert Elias, The Civilising Process. The Development of Manners: Changes in the Code of Conduct and Feeling in Early Modern Times (1984)

Catherine Gallagher and Thomas Laqueur (eds), The Making of the Modern Body: Sexuality and Society in the Nineteenth Century (1987)

Ralph Houlbrooke, Death, Ritual and Bereavement (1989)

Thomas Laqueur, Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud (1990)

Ruth Richardson, Death, Dissection, and the Destitute (2001)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Gayle Davis
Course secretaryMiss Rachel Ord
Tel: (0131 6)50 3580
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