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Acting on Theory: Body Image Activism

Student Name: 
Kate Walford
Student Email: 
Supervised by: 
Dr. Amy Peloff


This course will utilize theory to inform activism surrounding representation and body image in communities. In the first few weeks, we will use readings and media that provide different perspectives on body image. Feminist, socio-cultural, philosophical, and bio-politcal discourses will be discussed to provide different ways of conceptualizing bodies and body image. In the rest of the quarter, participants will be focused on individual and/or group projects that challenge cultural norms about bodies and body image.


Learning Objectives:

1. Explore how theory can inspire activism and change

2. Look critically at media and sociocultural representations of the body

3. Produce projects that individuals in the group feel address these issues in their own communities


Guiding Questions:

How is the idea of the body constructed? How has it changed over time?

What are the impacts (positive and negative) of body image norms?

How do the media and sociocultural patterns play into our ideas about the body?

Can new, productive ways of thinking about the body be designed?


Texts and Materials:

Cavallaro, The Body for Beginners.

Grogan, Sarah. Body Image: Understanding Body Dissatisfaction in Men and Women.

Nichter, Mimi. Fat Talk.

America the Beautiful (Film). Directed by Darryl Roberts.

Miss Representation (Film).Directed by Jennifer Newsom and Kimberlee Acquarlo.

Killing us Softly 4 (Film).  Jean Kilbourne.

Atkinson, Tiffany. The Body.

Bray, Abigail. The Anorexic Body: Reading Disorders.

Assigned Section: