2015 Symposium

The “good” Body

September 24 – 26, 2015

Our bodies play a large role in defining our public and private identities. The ways we use them—and the way others react to them—give clear indications of our beliefs, access, and culture values. Which is why at this historical moment it’s problematic that the body has been deemed, both figuratively and literally, bad.

Our symposium will center on the good body. We’ll use the topic to explore central questions in the liberal arts. What counts as a good body? Who has one? Who doesn’t? And why? These questions—and their varying answers—impact everyone in our Middlebury community and beyond. As technological and medical innovations have shaped our concepts of worthiness, beauty, health, and bodily function, we have to examine how broader contexts matter—how cultural forces, systems of power, privilege, time, and place contribute to how we define “good,” how we define “body,” and, ultimately, how we define the “good body.”