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Course, academic year 2023/2024
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Embodiment and Affect - YMGS635
Title: Embodiment and Affect
Guaranteed by: Programme Gender Studies (24-KGS)
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities
Actual: from 2023
Semester: winter
E-Credits: 6
Examination process: winter s.:combined
Hours per week, examination: winter s.:0/16, Ex [HT]
Capacity: unknown / unknown (25)
Min. number of students: unlimited
4EU+: no
Virtual mobility / capacity: no
Key competences:  
State of the course: not taught
Language: English
Teaching methods: combined
Teaching methods: combined
Note: course can be enrolled in outside the study plan
enabled for web enrollment
Guarantor: Dagmar Lorenz - Meyer, M.A., Ph.D.
Class: Courses available to incoming students
Incompatibility : YMGS627
Is incompatible with: YMGS627
Examination dates   Schedule   Noticeboard   
Annotation -
Last update: Dagmar Lorenz - Meyer, M.A., Ph.D. (25.09.2020)
This course introduces students to feminist approaches to affective processes, embodiment and the senses that have gained increasing attention in gender studies. The course will examine conceptions of the interrelation of body and mind, flesh and signification, organism and environment. What insights into social life, dispossession, and bodily transformation including what is withdrawn and unavailable to verbalisation can be gained if we attune to sound, gestures, rhythm, ruptures and affective resonances? How are researcher-bodies involved in affective methodologies? What alternative histories and futures emerge in gestures of refusal, discarded photographs and sounds and movements? Case studies will focus on trans*bodies; black lives; debility; hospitality and slow death, and students will experiment with walking methodolgies and with producing a piece of embodied writing. Note: The course methods are shaped by conditions of the Covid-19 pandemic. Depending on epidemiological situation in Prague we will combine class sessions held on MS teams online – including interactive lecture and student-led discussions using breakout rooms – and ‘walkshops’ in the area of the university in Troja, where we will have group discussions while walking in small groups with masks through particular terrain.
Aim of the course
Last update: Dagmar Lorenz - Meyer, M.A., Ph.D. (20.09.2022)

1. to develop a critical appreciation of bodies and affects as relational, active, open, material and discursive

2. to understand and apply different conceptual approaches to the body (e.g. post-structuralist, phenomenological, new materialist)

3. to attune your bodily sensorium to smells, sounds, movements and fleeting gestures and what they tell about the social

4. to experiment with creative writing of the body and what affect can do  

6. to foster teamwork, collaboration and constructive criticism

Teaching methods
Last update: Dagmar Lorenz - Meyer, M.A., Ph.D. (20.09.2022)

This course will take place monthly and will be divided between short lectures, a discussion of required readings, and group work. Class discussions will be prepared by small groups of students who will meet online with the class teacher before class and will be responsible for this session.

You will do two smaller writing task and a group presentation.

Last update: Dagmar Lorenz - Meyer, M.A., Ph.D. (20.09.2022)

a full syllabus will be provided in the first week of term.

Block I The Forces of Affect and Embodiment

Block II Flesh and Signification

Block III Affective Knowing through Touch, Sound and Smell

Block IV Debility, Slow Death, Hospitality


Compulsory literature:

KIRBY, Vicki. Judith Butler: Live Theory. Chapter: “Gender, Sexuality, Performance”. London: Continuum. ISBN: 978-0826462930.

LIVINGSTON, Julie. Debility and the Moral Imagination in Botswana. Chapter: “Family Matter and Money Matters”. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. ISBN: 978-0253346377.

MUNOZ, Jose Esteban (2007) Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity. Chapter: “A Jete through the Window”. New York: NYU Press. ISBN: 978-1479874569.

STRYKER, Susan. My Words to Victor Frankenstein above the Village of Chamounix: Performing Transgender Rage. Kvinder, Kon & Forskning 3-4, 2011 [1994].


Elective literature:

BERLANT, Lauren and STEWART, Kathleen. The Hundreds. Durham: Duke University Press, 2019.  ISBN 978-1478002888.

CAMPT, Tina. Listening to Images. Chapter: “Quiet Soundings: The Grammar of Black Futurity”, 2017. ISBN: 978-0822362708.

HALBERSTAM, Jack. Wild Things: The Disorder of Desire. Durham: Duke University Press, 2020. ISBN: 978-1-4780-1108-8

HARTMAN, Saidiya, Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval. New York: WW Norton. ISBN: 978-0393357622.

Course completion requirements
Last update: Dagmar Lorenz - Meyer, M.A., Ph.D. (20.09.2022)

Assessment will be continuous and includes individual and group work through the semester. Instead of a final exam students will write a final paper, individually or in pairs.

Individual work:

Ø  Active participation in monthly class discussions: 25 %

Ø  Short concept paper (700 words): write about a concept from the course readings that you find interesting: where does it come from, how is it defined? Illustrate what the concepts allow us to sense and do? Due in block II 10%

Ø  Creative writing paper/memory work (600 words): write in the third person about an autobiographical body experience, that we will anonymise and examine in small groups. Due in block III: 10%

Group work (in small groups of 2-4 students)

Ø  Choose a session that you want to run (block II-IV): prepare a summary of the main course readings (500 words) and 6-8 questions for class discussion: 10%

Ø  Short Group Presentation on the creative writing and concepts: recompose one of the creative writing papers – analyse it from perspectives of the course (c 12-15 minutes) (in block IV): 10%

Ø  Final paper: analyse and expand the group presentation, or a course topic of your choice, drawing on further readings and at least two main readings (2500 words individually or 3500 words in pairs). Short abstracts are due before block IV, paper is due 28 January 2023: 35%  

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