Gender, body, subjectivity

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation CoreSHS3038254

Semester and Year Offered: Semester 2

Course Coordinator and Team: Rachana Johri Mamatha Karollil

Email of course coordinator:


Aim: This course will foreground psychoanalytical and feminist thinking on the question of body. The course is premised on an understanding that gendered bodies are central to both psychoanalytical and feminist texts from the very moment of their origins.

Course Outcomes:

After completing this course students should be able to

  1. conceptualize the space of the body in psychic functioning
  2. understand why symptoms of psychic distress are expressed on the body
  3. conceptualize the relationship between gender, subjectivity and the experience of the body.
  4. Brief description of modules/ Main modules:
  5. The body and body ego, the skin as surface
  6. Cutting: the gendered body; the problematic of male and female binary
  7. Sexuality and Bisexuality: The question of perversions?
  8. Women, patriarchy and distressed bodies; Hysteria and Anorexia, Possession states
  9. Motherhood and maternal subjectivity: Postnatal depression: the inability to care
  10. Masculinity: its construction and crisis


Assessment Details with weights:

  • Class Presentation 40%
  • Term Paper 60%

Reading List:

  • Balsam, Rosemary. (2012) Women’ bodies in Psychoanalysis. New York: Columbia University Press
  • Bordo, Susan (2003). Unbearable weight. Feminism, western culture and the body.
  • Diamond, Nicola (2002) Between Skins: The Body in Psychoanalysis - Contemporary Developments
  • Dimen, Muriel and Virginia Goldner (2001). Gender in psychoanalytic space. New York: Columbia University Press
  • Dimen, Muriel and Virginia Goldner (2001). Gender in psychoanalytic space. New York: Columbia University Press.
  • Freud, Sigmund. (1912) The ego and the id. Standard Edition of the Complete Works. U.K. Penguin
  • Foucault, M. ( ) Docile Bodies. Foucault, M. ()
  • Grosz, Elizabeth (1994). Volatile Bodies. Towards a corporeal feminism
  • Irigaray, L and Mary Green (2008) Teachings
  • Kakar Sudhir (1982) Shamans, Mystics and doctors. Viking: New Delhi
  • Ram Kalpana (2006)Fertile Disorder. Spirit Possession and Its Provocation of the Modern. U.S.A.: University of Hawaii Press.