As a student of the humanities, specifically English and gender studies, as well as someone who has an interest in studio art, I find the symbolism of the body and gender to be extremely interesting concepts within each area.  Bodylore is defined as the analysis of the human body and its roles and responsibilities in terms of communication and social meaning.  Bodylore, when connected to the humanities, can act as a commentary on societal views and ideas, while also critiquing how we are socialized as people.

In an article written by Katherine Young, she states that, “bodylore is an investigation of a constellation of physical properties in order to illuminate a cluster of theoretical puzzles” (p. 3). The idea that bodylore is made up of many different things and then observed is similar to that of written texts in English.  English can be made up of similes, metaphors, allusions, and more; just as a constellation is made up of stars, bodylore is made up of ideas, which are often classified as societal and stereotypical.

In terms of studio art, the body is often used when learning how to draw, paint, and sculpt.  Learning about how the body is perceived either through its appearance or positioning is important and holds significance in art.  One is also able to look at masterpieces over time and see how bodylore has changed from particular eras in the art world as well as in the realistic world.

The body provides students of the humanities with new concepts on learning as well as new perspectives.  The body can act as a canvas for not only ourselves but within studio art, English, and many other areas that can be seen as commentary on society.  Bodies themselves are masterpieces, though they can often be misconstrued, misunderstood, and judged by society.  They can be picked negatively apart on a daily basis but they can also be used in extremely positive ways such as displaying culture, personality, and protesting.  Society may try to dictate what we can and will do with our bodies but overall, we each have our own bodies.  We can decide how we feel in our skin and know that we accept ourselves for who we are not because we follow the “rules” of society.

Check Out:

Katharine Young: “Whose Body? An Introduction to Bodylore”: http://www.jstor.org/stable/541069?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents


McKenna Kobosko is currently a junior at Old Dominion University. She is an English major with a concentration in Creative Writing and a minor in Women’s Studies. She has been interested in Women’s Studies from a young age, before she even knew what Women’s Studies was. She is a fan of learning, especially when it comes to learning from what she is reading. She enjoys reading news stories on social media, as well as educational articles that focus around minorities, sexuality and its fluidity, biased dress codes, and much more. She seeks to learn as much as she can while also providing herself with many different perspectives of our society and how we as a society are socialized.