Week 8: Body Deformed and Diseased

Discussion topics include physiognomy, physical impairment, age, depleted spirit, post-lapsarian condition, love sickness, impotence, and the “psychopathology of everyday life.”

1. Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, selections:

  • Wife of Bath’s Prologue
  • Merchant’s Prologue and Tale
  • Pardoner’s Prologue and Tale

2. Blindness of Gower, Confessio Amantis, Book 8 (everything before and after Apollonius)

3. Skim Metzler, Disability in Medieval Europe, pp. 11-125.

4. Haraway, “A Cyborg Manifesto” (available online)

5. RadioLab, On Mutants (on the relationship between taxonomies, trade, and taxes.  It is relevant to our discussion of encyclopedism and categorization more broadly, and provides a telling modern instance: the definition of the human figure depends on capital interests and political institutions, in this case the US Customs Office. What counts as human or human-like? Also relevant to consideration of toys, figurines, etc.)

6. Post on Uncanny Valley



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