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The Body as a Cultural Archive

Code: 105816 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2500000 Sociocultural Gender Studies OT 3 1


Maria Angeles Torras Frances

Teaching groups languages

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Hanan Jasim Khammas



Objectives and Contextualisation

The body features as a key element in proposed objects of analysis from a gender perspective (and its intersectionalities), and, as such, has played a central role in some of the most radical inflections in feminist genealogies. The aim of this course is to examine the body as a cultural text-archive in threefold sense of the term ‘archive’: a) as that which regulates what can be said/understood (Foucault); b) ‘somateca’, i.e. the place where biolopolitical regimes are inscribed. (Preciado); and c) more generally, archive as a storage room where one can track and document a memory from the past made present and, in the case of the body, presence. 


  • Demonstrate ability to work autonomously, self-analysis and self-criticism.
  • Express correctly and in a non-sexist or homophobic manner both orally and in writing.
  • Identify and question gender representations in the history of ideas, arts and culture, as well as in the construction of scientific knowledge. 
  • Interpreting and interrelating the conceptual bases of feminist theories. 
  • Students can apply the knowledge to their own work or vocation in a professional manner and have the powers generally demonstrated by preparing and defending arguments and solving problems within their area of study.
  • Students must develop the necessary learning skills in order to undertake further training with a high degree of autonomy.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Analyze the representations of sexualities in cultural productions.
  2. Apply the concepts of gender theory to the analysis of cultural texts.
  3. Distinguish the transformations of gender relations in the history of culture.
  4. Make an inclusive use of language.
  5. Make valuations and corrections of your own work.
  6. Search, select and manage information autonomously, both in structured sources (databases, bibliographies, specialized journals) and in information distributed on the network.
  7. Students can apply the knowledge to their own work or vocation in a professional manner and have the powers generally demonstrated by preparing and defending arguments and solving problems within their area of study.
  8. Students must develop the necessary learning skills in order to undertake further training with a high degree of autonomy.



Body and textuality

Textual corpuses

The embodied archive



1. Genealogies of (re)vision: from the gaze to the eye

  • Theory: “Matar el ojo” by Lina Meruane

2. Hybridity as resistance: Borderline bodies

  • Theory: “Pureza, impureza, separación” by María Lugones.

3. (Post)colonial fantasies: the body as racial inheritance

  • Theory: “The Orient and other others” by Sara Ahmed.

4. Sexual terrorism

  • Theory: Microfísica sexista del poder by Nerea Barjola.

5. The body as exceptional power

  • Theory: “Abu Ghraib arguing against exceptionalism” de Jasbir Puar.

6. The wrinkled body: anti-aging rhetoric

  • Theory: "Rejecting the Aging Body" by Alex Dumas



The learning for this course is distributed as follows:

- Instructor-directed activities (30%). Lecture with ICT support and in-class participation & discussion.

- Instructor-supervised activities (25%). Oral presentations, reviews, or papers (individual or in group) will be made following a specific set of guidelines given by the instructor.

- Indepedent activities (45%). Comprehensive and critical reading of literary and theoretical texts. Making outlines and concept maps, and writing summaries.

Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Lecture with ICT support and in-class participation and discussion. 25 1
Type: Supervised      
Oral presentations, papers, reviews or course work (individual or in group) will be carried out based on a guideline. Tutorships. 48 1.92
Type: Autonomous      
Comprehensive and critical reading of literary and theoretical texts. Making outlines, conceptual maps and summaries. 64 2.56


The student’s assessment will be made as follows:

 a)     Each student will be responsible for one case study. The student is required to give an oral presentation (20%), and lead discussion following the presentation (20%). This will be a group presentation, which, as per the percentage breakdown just indicated, will be 40% of the student’s final grade. Retakes for this activity are not allowed.

b)     Along the second bloc - according to the calender set by the professors - each student will individually submmit two in-class written assignments. Each of these assignments will be 25% worth of the final grade (This will be 50% of the final grade). Students who fail or fail to submit one of these assignments, will be required to take the make-up a exam. 

c) The remaining 10% of the student’s final grade will be given on the basis of of attendance & participation in class, as well the student’s involvement and progress throughout the course. No make-up opportunities will be provided for this portion of the grade.


In the event that tests or exams cannot be taken onsite, they will be adapted to an online format made available through the UAB’s virtual tools (the original weighing will be maintained). Homework, activities and class participation will be carried out through forums, wikis and/or discussion on Teams, etc. Instructors will ensure that students are able to access these virtual tools, or will offer them feasible alternatives.

On carrying out each evaluation activity, lecturers will inform students (on Moodle) of the procedures to be followed for reviewing all grades awarded, and the date on which such a review will take place.

In the event of a student committing any irregularity that may lead to a significant variation in the grade awarded to anassessment activity, the studentwill be given a zero for this activity, regardless of any disciplinary process that may take place. In the event of several irregularities in assessment activities, the student will receive a zero as the final grade for the class.


Single assessment 

Students who choose single assessment will be submitted to

  • a written exam (40%) 
  • an oral exam (40%)
  • turn in a critical review in which the student is required to address and critically engage with the assigned readings. The student will be expected to comment on, complete, highlight, or further develop some idea/s from the relevant texts, including those mentioned during class discussion (20%)

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
IN-CLASS ASSIGNMENT 1 25% 6 0.24 1, 2, 6, 3, 4, 5, 8, 7
IN-CLASS ASSIGNMENT 2 25% 6 0.24 1, 2, 6, 3, 4, 5, 8, 7
ORAL PRESENTATION AND CLASS DISCUSSION 40% 1 0.04 1, 2, 6, 3, 4, 5, 8, 7


Supportive bibliography


Ahmed, Sara, y Javier Sáez. Fenomenologia Queer : orientaciones, objetos, otros / Sara Ahmed ; traducción de Javier Sáez del Álamo. Primera edición. Barcelona: Bellaterra, 2019.

Foucault, Michel. Descipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. Trans. Alan Sheridan. 2nd ed. New York: Vintage Books, 1995.

Grosz, Elizabeth. Volatile Bodies: Toward a Corporeal Feminism. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1994.

Mulvey, Laura. Visual and Other Pleasures. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1989.

Pérez, Aina y Meri Torras (eds.) (2013) “Saberes e poderes do corpo” (dossier monográfico), Revista Interfaces, 19/II [ISSN: 1516-0033]

Puar, Jasbir K. “Homonacionalismo Como Mosaico: Viagens Virais, Sexualidades Afetivas.” Revista Lusófona de Estudos Culturais 3.1 (2015).

___________. Terrorist Assemblages : Homonationalism in Queer Times / Jasbir K. Puar. Durham: Duke University Press, 2007.

Pérez, Aina y Meri Torras (eds.) (2013) “Saberes e poderes do corpo” (dossier monográfico), Revista Interfaces, 19/II [ISSN: 1516-0033]

Torras, Meri (2020) “Fragilidades del queer-po. Ese torcido amor, de Txus García”, a eHumanista / IVITRA, 17, 42-61 [https://www.ehumanista.ucsb.edu/ivitra/volume/17]

___________(2019) “Cuando el cuerpo de la autora traza la poética emocional del corpus. Un ojo de cristal, de Miren Agur Meabe”, Extremas. Figuras de la felicidad y la furia en la producción cultural ibérica y ibericoamericana del siglo XXI (Roland Spiller, Aránzazu Calderón Puerta, Katarzyna Moszczyńska-Dürst, eds., Berlin: Peter Lang, 27-46[ISBN: 978-3-631-80621-0]

___________ (2017). “Embodiment (Embodimén)”, a Barbarismos queer y otras esdrújulas R. Lucas Platero, María Rosón y Esther Ortega (eds.), Barcelona: Edicions Bellaterra, 161-167[ISBN: 978-84-7290-829-1]

Torras, Meri, ed. (2009). El poder del cuerpo. Antología de poesía femenina contemporánea, Madrid: Castalia [ISBN 978-84-9740-294-1]

Torras, Meri i Noemí Acedo, eds. (2008). Encarna(c)ciones. Teoría(s) de los cuerpos, Barcelona: EdiUOC [ISBN 978-84-9788-727-4]    

Torras, Meri, ed.  (2007) Cuerpo e identidad. Estudios de género y sexualidad I, Bellaterra, Edicions UAB.

_______ (2006) Corporizar el pensamiento. Escrituras y lecturas del cuerpo en la cultura occidental. Vilagarcía de Aroúsa, Mirabel [ISBN-10: 84-934841-4-8 y ISBN-13: 978-84-934841-4-9]

_______ (2004) Monográfico “Cuerpos, géneros y tecnologías”Lectora. Revista de mujeres y textualidad [https://revistes.ub.edu/index.php/lectora/issue/view/625]


Specific bibliography will be given for each subject of the course.



Word processing (with the possibility of conversion to Word and pdfs).

Pdf reader

Power point or similar.


Free software is welcome, as long as the documents can be delivered in the required format.