Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Teaching Foucault?

In the spring, I am teaching a class called "Food, Drugs, and Sex: Bodies and Environments in History." This will definitely be the most experimental course I have ever taught. I'm looking forward to it even though it also scares me. Basically, this is a course that centers the body in history and looks at what we put into our body and what comes out of it, showing how the human body both changes nature and is changed by the environment.

Part of the point of this class is for me to work out ideas of my own about bodies and nature, which is central to my own work, but which I have not dealt with a lot on a theoretical level.

Core to many of these ideas is Foucault. Did any of you deal with Foucault on the undergraduate level? If you did, would you recommend it for higher level undergraduates? Would I be crazy for doing so? I am not that excited by theory generally, but I need to deal with this myself.

The other issue with teaching a class with this title is that it could attract a lot of bozos and frat guys who think they can sit around talking about how much they like to fuck. Teaching some Foucault early on could drive these people out. So that's a point in its favor.