2013 - 2014

  To Be Until Not To Be: Medical Ethics, Embodied Knowledge, a                                         
Naomi RokotnitzMexico - Arts210Sun1000-1200 Sem  2
Course description
In this short course we will study three plays that invite an interrogation of multiple facets of (terminal) illness in contemporary art, science and medical ethics. We will explore the epistemic advantages of the experience of physical disintegration as a potential cognitive aid: a chance to (re)conceive change, pain and loss as a means towards existential significance, as suggested by Martin Heidegger's conception of Being-Toward-Death, which presents death as an integral part of life, providing opportunity for productive choice and authentic expression. These three plays not only anchor public ethical and philosophical debates in the specific experiences of singular characters, attesting to the individual and unique responses of each patient, but also offer diverse approaches to the human body and bodily forms of knowledge acquisition and communication. Finally, we will consider how the dramatic presentation of each play involves and implicates audiences, and what political implications are suggested by these three female protagonists.

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