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UGRD > HIST > 415

The Body in the Atlantic World

People tend to view their bodies in fixed, objective terms: bodies are composed of blood, muscles, organs, and bones. Yet conceptions of the body have changed over time as a result of shifting medical knowledge, cultural norms, and beliefs. For example, seventeenth-century Europeans believed the body consisted of four humors. This seminar investigates the bodys history by exploring the ways medical authors, explorers, and ordinary men and women understood, experienced, and pathologized bodies from 1500-1800. In particular, the course examines how trans-Atlantic exchanges of peoples, plants, and disease shaped understandings of bodily difference.

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