This course name and description ONLY applies to academic year 2017-2018

LLRO 13186-4: Blood: A Cultural History

This course is not currently available. Please visit the Courses section for current offerings.

Instructor: Anne Leone

This course explores blood’s significance in various genres and mediums from Ancient Greece to the present day — from classical Latin epics to vampire films, medieval Christian iconography to modern poetry, medical treatise to popular song. We will discuss how blood’s meanings often seem contradictory. Blood signifies violence and vitality. Blood has been used to marginalize or persecute individuals or groups (women, Jews, immigrants, the poor, people suffering from disease), but images of Christ’s blood are also important inclusive symbols in Catholic theology and practice. These tensions, however, are partly what make blood’s implications so powerful. Since blood lies at the intersection of many disciplines (art history, literature, theology, philosophy, medicine), the course is vigorously interdisciplinary.