Course content

This course examines a variety of liminal bodily states and ecstatic borderlands, including intoxication, trance, sexual rites, and shamanistic practices in different cultures. The course focuses on cultural expression and praxis, starting from central theoretical concepts such as ritual, liminality, performance and performativity.

Learning outcomes

Having completed the course the student will demonstrate an ability to:

  • survey and analyse forms of ecstasy, intoxication, ritual possession, and shamanism;
  • assess the state of research from an interdisciplinary perspective and discuss and critically reflect over definitions, delimitations, and problems;
  • account for and problematise aspects of ritual theory, with a particular focus on the concepts of liminality, performance, performativity, and gender;
  • independently and critically evaluate theoretical perspectives and concepts and integrate them into research questions.

Practical information

Attendance is compulsory.

The teaching is in the forms of lectures, seminars, and excursions, which will explore varied forms of cultural expression including films and objects. Some elements of the teaching will be linked to the course Corpus Workshop.

The course is examined through written tasks for the seminars, active participation in the excursions, and a final essay. Full attendance plus a minimum grade of G for each examination task are required to pass the course.

Period: Second half of the autumn semester 2017.

Preliminary dates and time:

  • November 10, 13-16, Ritual Possession: Embodiment, Agency, and Selfhood (Niklas Foxeus)
  • November 16, 13-16, Out of the Body: 'Astral Travels' and Embodied Cognition (Egil Asprem)
  • November 23, 13-16, Intoxication – Habitual Change of Bodily and Social States (Karin Sennefelt)
  • November 30, 13-16, Sexuality and Aesthetics (Kristina Fjelkestam)

Link to schedule in TimeEdit.

Language of instruction: English

Course director: Niklas Foxeus

Course name in Swedish: Kroppen i extas: besatthet och berusning

The course is part of the theme Kroppslighet i teori och praktik / Corporeality in theory and practice