“In this here place, we flesh; flesh that weeps, laughs; flesh that dances on bare feet in grass. Love it. Love it hard. Yonder they do not love your flesh. They despise it. They don’t love your eyes; they’d just as soon pick em out. No more do they love the skin on your back. … You got to love it. This is flesh I’m talking about here. Flesh that needs to be loved. Feet that need to rest and to dance; backs that need support; shoulders that need arms, strong arms I’m telling you … love it, love it and the beat and beating heart, love that too. More than eyes or feet. More than lungs that have yet to draw free air. More than your life-holding womb and your life-giving private parts, hear me now, love your heart. For this is the prize.”
From Toni Morrison’s Beloved
heartbreak is a white kid from south edmonton
who lives inside the what-had-been.
the what-had-been is an atmosphere,
a sensation against which all others are calculated.
it is a performance of embodiment,
or should I say disembodiment?
heartbreak is a body that is not bodied
Billy Ray Belcourt. Heartbreak Is A White Kid
From This Wound Is a World
This course on Literatures of (dis)embodiment will take a look texts, films, and other forms of art within the genre of speculative fiction. Speculative fiction is a wide reaching genre which encompasses works in which the setting is other than the real world, involving supernatural, futuristic, or other imagined elements; many of the stories we enjoy as young adults fall into this category (think: The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, The Handmaids Tale, Pan’s Labyrinth, etc). Our course will be particularly invested in the representations of bodies and feeling– or the separation from bodies and feeling. Concepts we’ll be investigating: Hauntings, Body-swapping, trans and two spirit bodies, (dis)embodiment and land, Afro-futurism, doppelgangers, and so on. This course introduces students to the complexly beautiful, joyous, erotic, painful, and expansive realities of our bodies and those unknown to us. Texts of interest may include: Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Jordan Peele’s Us, Joshua Whitehead’s Full Metal Indigiqueer, Selections from the notable Indigenous comics collection This Place, and many others.