Anthropology of the Body (L6100)

30 credits, Level 6

Autumn teaching

You'll explore the body from an anthropological perspective and consider how different societies and cultures conceptualise and experience the human body.

In recent years, anthropologists and other academics have become increasingly interested in the body, including authors such as Foucault and Bourdieu.

Some draw upon Merleau-Ponty's phenomenological approach with its emphasis on the senses, while others attempted to resolve the tensions between experience and agency.

You'll also explore:

  • how the body represents a challenge for anthropological research
  • recent ethnographic contributions to this field.
  • the body as a site on which social and cultural processes are inscribed, where power relations converge and are articulated and as a site where agency is performed.

You'll work with materials from non-Western and Western societies.

Teaching and assessment

We’re currently reviewing teaching and assessment of our modules in light of the COVID-19 situation. We’ll publish the latest information as soon as possible.

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 30 hours of contact time and about 270 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2020/21. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: