New course: Politics of the Body

The female body is the focus of a new course in the political science department.

Politics of the Body examines the image of the female gender and body in society and culture.

Each week, a different faculty member is scheduled to present a topic on the female gender in his or her area of expertise, according to the course syllabus. Students will hear speakers from TCU’s seven colleges and the Brite Divinity School. In addition to a textbook, the faculty member will prepare packets that include articles and essays.

Joanne Green, associate professor of political science and director of the Institute on Women and Gender, said it is important for students to understand the way the female body is often misused in different areas of study.

Green is scheduled to present a lecture on the participation, behavior and representation of women in American politics for the course. Marcy Paul, associate director of the Institute on Women and Gender, said the course structure allows faculty members to share their research with students. It is important for the Institute on Women and Gender to look at gender issues from a variety of disciplines, she said. The course is scheduled for this semester only, Green said.

“The class has a lot of potential, but the future of the course depends on the reactions of students,” Green said.

Seth Harris, a senior international economics major, said his visit to a museum last summer motivated him to learn more about gender issues.

“I am curious and anxious to find out about the course,” Harris said.

In the first four hours the class was open for enrollment, about 16 permits were requested to be in the class, Paul said. The class of 20 is full and waiting list is growing, she said.

Not only are undergraduates and graduate students interested in taking the class, but faculty members have asked to audit the course, Paul said. The TCU Office of Extended Education allows community members to enroll in classes for no credit at TCU, said Julie Lovett, assistant director for extended education.

These life-long learners can only attend the first half of the class period, which is the lecture portion, for $180, and space is available, she said. Community members also have the option of paying $60 to take the course for one-third of the semester, Lovett said.