Results for: 2021-22 Winter normal
We often worry about what’s normal and what’s not. Is my IQ above average? What about my BMI? Should I be feeling this way? Is there a pill for that? People seem to have always been concerned with fitting in, but the way of describing the general run of practices and conditions as “normal” is a rather recent phenomenon; testament to the vast influence modern science have had on how we understand ourselves. Charting a wide-ranging history of the ways that human traits and behaviors came to be classified and measured, this research seminar will introduce students to the theories and techniques used to distinguish the normal from the pathological and the deviant for the past 200 years. We will read Cesare Lombroso on born criminals and Richard von Krafft-Ebing on sexual perversion; learn about psychological tests and developmental milestones; and consider the kinds of people these scientific and medical efforts brought into being. In addition to lecture and class discussions, the course includes close engagement with a diverse historical archive: scientific and medical treatises, clinical case studies, diagnostic tools, and patient narratives. Students will also explore how the University of Chicago contributed to the definition and establishment of normality through a project at the university’s archival collections.