Anthropology of the Body (L6065AID)

30 credits, Level 6

Autumn teaching

This module explores the body from an anthropological perspective. It considers 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. Others attempted to resolve the tensions between experience and agency.

The module asks how the body represents a challenge for anthropological research. It explores recent ethnographic contributions to this field. We consider the body as a site:

  • on which social and cultural processes are inscribed
  • where power relations converge and are articulated
  • where agency is performed.

Materials are drawn from both non-Western and Western societies.


100%: Lecture

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 36 hours of contact time and about 264 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: