Biopolitics: bodies, health and food

A.Y. 2020/2021
9
Max ECTS
60
Overall hours
SSD
M-FIL/05
Language
English
Learning objectives
The aim of the course is to provide students with the core knowledge and understanding of philosophical theories that adapt concepts from the life sciences to address issues related to civic society and its institutions. The acquired competences and notions are of use for activities that primarily rest on logical reasoning, activities of communication, and editorial activities.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge and Understanding
At the end of the course, the student has acquired a general understanding of the concepts from the life sciences that are employed in reference to civic society and its institutions. In addition, the student understands a body of philosophical arguments related to the application of such concepts, can outline possible objections to these arguments and possible solutions to those objections.

Ability to Apply Knowledge and Understanding
At the end of the course, the student is able to formulate original philosophical problems in connection to the concepts and the language of biopolitics, to suggest plausible solutions to those problems and to spell out such solutions in details.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Classes will be held online, in synchronous mode, and will be recorded. They will alternate lecturing and seminarial discussion. Additional information will be provided on the Ariel site for the course.
Course syllabus
Specific aspects of a human body, like skin color or primary sexual traits, have played a substantial function in defining the political agency of individuals and groups as well as in shaping societal institution. In this course we study the ideas and arguments that found the attribution of political significance to certain biological conditions, rethinking the role that such conditions have or should have. The course builds on the examination of several classical and contemporary case studies and readings, which relate to specific aspects of human bodies, human health, and human diets.
Prerequisites for admission
None.
Teaching methods
Classes will consist of a mix of lecturing and seminarial discussion. They will make use of slides, videos and images. Class materials will be made available on the Ariel site for the course.
Teaching Resources
The following readings are common to both programs (6CFU and 9CFU):
Mbembe, Necropolitics (2003)
Rose, The Politics of Life Itself, Chapters 1 and 2 (2007)
Borghini & Casetta, Philosophy of Biology, Chapter 8 (2019)
Fausto-Sterling, "The Five Sexes" (1993)
Butler, "Performative Acts and Gender Constitution" (1990)
Asta, "The Metaphysics of Sex and Gender" (2011)
Glasgow at al, What Is Race? Four Philosophical Views (2019)
Haslanger, Resisting Reality, Chapters 7-11 (2012)
Kitcher, "Does «Race» Have a Future?" (2007)
Agrest, "Achitecture From Without: Body, Logic, and Sex" (1988)
Foucault, "Of Other Spaces: Utopias and Heterotopias" (1967)
Low, "Placemaking and Embodied Space" (2014)
Karimi, "Dwelling, Dispute, and the Space in Modern Iran" (2012)
Sen, "Walking the Field in Milwaukee" (2020)
Murphy, The Economization of Life, Chapters 1-4 (2017)
Hall et al., "Implicit Racial/Ethnic Bias" (2015)
Danis et al. "Bioethicists Can and Should Contribute to Addressing Racism" (2016)
Beaudry, "Beyond (Models of) Disability?" (2016)
Bracken & Thomas, "From Szasz to Foucault: On the Role of Critical Psychiatry" (2010)
Dotson, "Tracking Epistemic Violence" (2011)
Murphy, The Economization of Life, Chapter 10 (2017)
Jarvis-Thomson, "A Defense of Abortion" (1971)
Kukla, "Finding Autonomy in Birth" (2009)
de Kloet et al, "We Are Doing Better" (2020)
Peters and Besley, "Biopolitics, Conspiracy and the Immuno-State" (2020)
Barnhill et al., "The Value of Unhealthy Eating and the Ethics of Healthy Eating Policies" (2014)
Thompson, From Field to Fork, Chapter 3 (2015)
Barnhill & Bonotti, Eating Our Way Through Liberalism, Chapters 2, 5-7 (2020)
Puhl & Heuer, "Obesity Stigma: Important Considerations for Public Health" (2010)
Giordano, Understanding Eating Disorders, Chapters 3 and 4 (2005)
Borghini & Serpico, "From Obesity to Energy Metabolism: New Ontological Perspectives on the Metrics of Human Bodies" (2020)
Amoretti, "Do Feeding and Eating Disorders Fit the General Definition of Mental Disorder?" (2020)
Pellow, "We Didn't Get the First 500 Year Right, So Let's Work on the Next 500 Years" (2009)
Harper, "Vegans of Color, Racialized Embodiment, and Problematics of the «Exotic»" (2011)
Lukito and Xenia, "Café as Third Place" (2017)
Kaufmann-Buhler, "If the Chair Fits" (2019)
Chrisman, "Blacks, Racism, and Burgeois Culture" (1976)
Assessment methods and Criteria
The final exam consists of a final paper as well as an oral exam. Papers will be 3000/4000 words in length (6CFU) or 5000/6000 words (9CFU) and address a specific topic agreed upon with the professor. Detailed guidelines will be distributed in the Ariel site for the course. The final exam will test student's acquisition of the central concepts discussed throughout the course as well as the student's ability to construct arguments and to reason on the ideas discussed during the course.
Unita' didattica A
M-FIL/05 - PHILOSOPHY AND THEORY OF LANGUAGE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Professor: Borghini Andrea
Unita' didattica B
M-FIL/05 - PHILOSOPHY AND THEORY OF LANGUAGE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Professor: Borghini Andrea
Unita' didattica C
M-FIL/05 - PHILOSOPHY AND THEORY OF LANGUAGE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Professor: Borghini Andrea
Educational website(s)
Professor(s)
Reception:
Ice Courtyard, Attic.