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Bishops and Bodies
Reproductive Care in American Catholic Hospitals
Lori Freedman
Rutgers University Press, 2023
One out of every six patients in the United States is treated in a Catholic hospital that follows the policies of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. These policies prohibit abortion, sterilization, contraception, some treatments for miscarriage and gender confirmation, and other reproductive care, undermining hard-won patients’ rights to bodily autonomy and informed decision-making. Drawing on rich interviews with patients and providers, this book reveals both how the bishops’ directives operate and how people inside Catholic hospitals navigate the resulting restrictions on medical practice. In doing so, Bishops and Bodies fleshes out a vivid picture of how The Church’s stance on sex, reproduction, and “life” itself manifests in institutions that affect us all.

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Bodies and Ruins
Imagining the Bombing of Germany, 1945 to the Present
David F. Crew
University of Michigan Press, 2017
Bodies and Ruins explores changing German memories of World War II as it analyzes the construction of narratives in the postwar period including the depiction of the bombing of individual German cities. The book offers a corrective notion rising in the late 1990s notion that discussions of the Allied bombing were long overdue, because Germans who had endured the bombings had largely been condemned to silence after 1945. David Crew shows that far from being marginalized in postwar historical consciousness, the bombing war was in fact a central strand of German memory and identity. Local narratives of the bombing war, including photographic books, had already established themselves as important “vectors of memory” in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The bombing war had allowed Germans to see themselves as victims at a time when the Allied liberation of the concentration camps and the Nuremberg trials presented Germans to the world as perpetrators or at least as accomplices. The bombing war continued to serve this function even as Germans became more and more willing directly to confront the genocide of European Jews—which by the 1960s was beginning to be referred to as the Holocaust.

Bodies and Ruins examines a range of local publications that carried photographic images of German cities destroyed in the air war, images that soon entered the visual memory of World War II. Despite its obvious importance, historians have paid very little attention to the visual representation of the bombing war. This book follows the search for what were considered to be the “right” stories and the “right” pictures of the bombing war in local publications and picture books from 1945 to the present, and is intended for historians as well as general readers interested in World War II, the Allied bombing of German cities, the Holocaust, the history of memory and photographic/visual history.


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Bodies and Souls
Politics and the Professionalization of Nursing in France, 1880-1922
Katrin Schultheiss
Harvard University Press, 2001

In the French Third Republic, nursing was an occupation caught in the crosscurrents of conflicting notions about the role of women. This deft political history shows how the turmoil and transformation of nursing during this period reflected the political and cultural tensions at work in the nation, including critical conflicts over the role of the Church in society, the professionalization of medicine, the organization and growing militancy of the working classes, and the emancipation of women.

Bodies and Souls describes a time when nursing evolved from a vocation dominated by Catholic orders to a feminine profession that included increasing numbers of lay women. As she pursues this story from the founding of the first full-time professional nursing school in Lyons through the changes wrought by World War I, Katrin Schultheiss reveals how the debates over what nurses were to be, know, and do were deeply enmeshed in issues of class, definitions of femininity, the nature of women's work, and the gendered character of social and national service. Her fine study maps the intersection of these debates with political forces, their impact on hospital nursing and nursing education, and on the shaping of a feminine version of citizenship in France.


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Bodies as Evidence
Security, Knowledge, and Power
Mark Maguire, Ursula Rao, and Nils Zurawski, editors
Duke University Press, 2018
From biometrics to predictive policing, contemporary security relies on sophisticated scientific evidence-gathering and knowledge-making focused on the human body. Bringing together new anthropological perspectives on the complexities of security in the present moment, the contributors to Bodies as Evidence reveal how bodies have become critical sources of evidence that is organized and deployed to classify, recognize, and manage human life. Through global case studies that explore biometric identification, border control, forensics, predictive policing, and counterterrorism, the contributors show how security discourses and practices that target the body contribute to new configurations of knowledge and power. At the same time, margins of error, unreliable technologies, and a growing suspicion of scientific evidence in a “post-truth” era contribute to growing insecurity, especially among marginalized populations.

Contributors. Carolina Alonso-Bejarano, Gregory Feldman, Francisco J. Ferrándiz, Daniel M. Goldstein, Ieva Jusionyte, Amade M’charek, Mark Maguire, Joseph P. Masco, Ursula Rao, Antonius C. G. M. Robben, Joseba Zulaika, Nils Zurawski

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Bodies in Commotion
Disability and Performance
Edited by Carrie Sandahl and Philip Auslander
University of Michigan Press, 2005
"A testament to the synergy of two evolving fields. From the study of staged performances to examinations of the performing body in everyday life, this book demonstrates the enormous profitability of moving beyond disability as metaphor. . . . It's a lesson that many of our cultural institutions desperately need to learn."
-Martin F. Norden, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

This groundbreaking collection imagines disabled bodies as "bodies in commotion"-bodies that dance across artistic and discursive boundaries, challenging our understanding of both disability and performance. In the book's essays, leading critics and artists explore topics that range from theater and dance to multi-media performance art, agit-prop, American Sign Language theater, and wheelchair sports. Bodies in Commotion is the first collection to consider the mutually interpretive qualities of these two emerging fields, producing a dynamic new resource for artists, activists, and scholars.

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Bodies in Contact
Rethinking Colonial Encounters in World History
Tony Ballantyne and Antoinette Burton, eds.
Duke University Press, 2005
From portrayals of African women’s bodies in early modern European travel accounts to the relation between celibacy and Indian nationalism to the fate of the Korean “comfort women” forced into prostitution by the occupying Japanese army during the Second World War, the essays collected in Bodies in Contact demonstrate how a focus on the body as a site of cultural encounter provides essential insights into world history. Together these essays reveal the “body as contact zone” as a powerful analytic rubric for interpreting the mechanisms and legacies of colonialism and illuminating how attention to gender alters understandings of world history. Rather than privileging the operations of the Foreign Office or gentlemanly capitalists, these historical studies render the home, the street, the school, the club, and the marketplace visible as sites of imperial ideologies.

Bodies in Contact brings together important scholarship on colonial gender studies gathered from journals around the world. Breaking with approaches to world history as the history of “the West and the rest,” the contributors offer a panoramic perspective. They examine aspects of imperial regimes including the Ottoman, Mughal, Soviet, British, Han, and Spanish, over a span of six hundred years—from the fifteenth century through the mid-twentieth. Discussing subjects as diverse as slavery and travel, ecclesiastical colonialism and military occupation, marriage and property, nationalism and football, immigration and temperance, Bodies in Contact puts women, gender, and sexuality at the center of the “master narratives” of imperialism and world history.

Contributors. Joseph S. Alter, Tony Ballantyne, Antoinette Burton, Elisa Camiscioli, Mary Ann Fay, Carter Vaughn Findley, Heidi Gengenbach, Shoshana Keller, Hyun Sook Kim, Mire Koikari, Siobhan Lambert-Hurley, Melani McAlister, Patrick McDevitt, Jennifer L. Morgan, Lucy Eldersveld Murphy, Rosalind O’Hanlon, Rebecca Overmyer-Velázquez, Fiona Paisley, Adele Perry, Sean Quinlan, Mrinalini Sinha, Emma Jinhua Teng, Julia C. Wells


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Bodies in Crisis
Culture, Violence, and Women's Resistance in Neoliberal Argentina
Sutton, Barbara
Rutgers University Press, 2010
Born and raised in Argentina and still maintaining significant ties to the area, Barbara Sutton examines the complex, and often hidden, bodily worlds of diverse women in that country during a period of profound social upheaval. Based primarily on women's experiential narratives and set against the backdrop of a severe economic crisis and intensified social movement activism post-2001, Bodies in Crisis illuminates how multiple forms of injustice converge in and are contested through women's bodies. Sutton reveals the bodily scars of neoliberal globalization; women's negotiation of cultural norms of femininity and beauty; experiences with clandestine, illegal, and unsafe abortions; exposure to and resistance against interpersonal and structural violence; and the role of bodies as tools and vehicles of political action.

Through the lens of women's body consciousness in a Global South country, and drawing on multifaceted stories and a politically embedded approach, Bodies in Crisis suggests that social policy, economic systems, cultural ideologies, and political resistance are ultimately fleshly matters.

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Bodies in Dissent
Spectacular Performances of Race and Freedom, 1850–1910
Daphne A. Brooks
Duke University Press, 2006
In Bodies in Dissent Daphne A. Brooks argues that from the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth, black transatlantic activists, actors, singers, and other entertainers frequently transformed the alienating conditions of social and political marginalization into modes of self-actualization through performance. Brooks considers the work of African American, Anglo, and racially ambiguous performers in a range of popular entertainment, including racial melodrama, spectacular theatre, moving panorama exhibitions, Pan-Africanist musicals, Victorian magic shows, religious and secular song, spiritualism, and dance. She describes how these entertainers experimented with different ways of presenting their bodies in public—through dress, movement, and theatrical technologies—to defamiliarize the spectacle of “blackness” in the transatlantic imaginary.

Brooks pieces together reviews, letters, playbills, fiction, and biography in order to reconstruct not only the contexts of African American performance but also the reception of the stagings of “bodily insurgency” which she examines. Throughout the book, she juxtaposes unlikely texts and entertainers in order to illuminate the complicated transatlantic cultural landscape in which black performers intervened. She places Adah Isaacs Menken, a star of spectacular theatre, next to Sojourner Truth, showing how both used similar strategies of physical gesture to complicate one-dimensional notions of race and gender. She also considers Henry Box Brown’s public re-enactments of his escape from slavery, the Pan-Africanist discourse of Bert Williams’s and George Walker’s musical In Dahomey (1902–04), and the relationship between gender politics, performance, and New Negro activism in the fiction of the novelist and playwright Pauline Hopkins and the postbellum stage work of the cakewalk dancer and choreographer Aida Overton Walker. Highlighting the integral connections between performance and the construction of racial identities, Brooks provides a nuanced understanding of the vitality, complexity, and influence of black performance in the United States and throughout the black Atlantic.


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Bodies in Flux
Scientific Methods for Negotiating Medical Uncertainty
Christa Teston
University of Chicago Press, 2017
Doctors, scientists, and patients have long grappled with the dubious nature of “certainty” in medical practice. To help navigate the chaos caused by ongoing bodily change we rely on scientific reductions and deductions. We take what we know now and make best guesses about what will be. But bodies in flux always outpace the human gaze. Particularly in cancer care, processes deep within our bodies are at work long before we even know where to look. In the face of constant biological and technological change, how do medical professionals ultimately make decisions about care?

Bodies in Flux explores the inventive ways humans and nonhumans work together to manufacture medical evidence. Each chapter draws on rhetorical theory to investigate a specific scientific method for negotiating medical uncertainty in cancer care, including evidential visualization, assessment, synthesis, and computation. Case studies unveil how doctors rely on visuals when deliberating about a patient’s treatment options, how members of the FDA use inferential statistics to predict a drug’s effectiveness, how researchers synthesize hundreds of clinical trials into a single evidence-based recommendation, and how genetic testing companies compute and commoditize human health. Teston concludes by advocating for an ethic of care that pushes back against the fetishization of certainty—an ethic of care that honors human fragility and bodily flux.

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Bodies in Formation
An Ethnography of Anatomy and Surgery Education
Rachel Prentice
Duke University Press, 2012
Surgeons employ craft, cunning, and technology to open, observe, and repair patient bodies. In Bodies in Formation, anthropologist Rachel Prentice enters surgical suites increasingly packed with new medical technologies to explore how surgeons are made in the early twenty-first century. Prentice argues that medical students and residents learn through practice, coming to embody unique ways of perceiving, acting, and being. Drawing on ethnographic observation in anatomy laboratories, operating rooms, and technology design groups, she shows how trainees become physicians through interactions with colleagues and patients, technologies and pathologies, bodies and persons. Bodies in Formation foregrounds the technical, ethical, and affective formation of physicians, demonstrating how, even within a world of North American biomedicine increasingly dominated by technologies for remote interventions and computerized teaching, good care remains the art of human healing.

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Bodies in Protest
Hunger Strikes and Angry Music
Johanna Siméant and Christophe Traïni
Amsterdam University Press, 2015
Research on social movements has historically focused on the traditional weapons of the working class, especially labor strikes and street demonstrations-but everyday actions, such as eating or singing, which can also be turned into a means of protest, have yet to be fully explored. Originally published as La grève de la faim by Johanna Siméant and La musique en colère by Christophe Traïni, Bodies in Protest is an interdisciplinary and comparative history of these modes of action that reveals how hunger strikes and music ranging from gospel songs to rock anthems can efficiently convey political messages and mobilize the masses. Common to both approaches, the chapters show, is a direct appeal to the emotions and a reliance on the physical, concrete language of the human body.

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Bodies in Suspense
Time and Affect in Cinema
Alanna Thain
University of Minnesota Press, 2017

Bodies in Suspense presents a powerful new way to think through postdigital cinema and the affective turn in critical theory. According to Alanna Thain, suspense films allow us to experience the relation between two bodies: that of the film and that of the viewer. Through the “time machine” of suspense, film form, gender, genre, and spectatorship are revealed in innovative and different ways. These films not only engage us directly in ethical concerns, but also provide a key for understanding corporeal power in the digital era. 

Offering a new framework for understanding cinematic suspense, Bodies in Suspense argues that the “body in time” enables us to experience the temporal dimension of the body directly. This is the first book to link two contemporary frames of analysis: questions of cinematic temporality and contemporary affect theory. Thain conducts close readings of influential suspense films by Alfred Hitchcock, David Lynch, Christian Marclay, Rian Johnson, and Lou Ye, and sets forth a compelling new theory of cinema, reading for the productivity of the “crime of time” that stages the duplicity of cinematic bodies. Through these films that foreground doubled characters and looping, Thain explores Gilles Deleuze’s claim that “the direct time-image is the phantom which has always haunted cinema.”

A vital new addition to film theory, corporeality and affect theory, feminist theory, and the philosophy of time—and one of the first books to explore David Lynch’s Hollywood trilogy—Bodies in Suspense asks us to pay attention, above all, to the ways in which the condition of spectatorship creates a doubling sensation with important philosophical repercussions.


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Bodies In Technology
Don Ihde
University of Minnesota Press, 2001

An original exploration of the ways cyberspace affects human experience.

New technologies suggest new ideas about embodiment: our "reach" extends to global sites through the Internet; we enter cyberspace through the engines of virtual reality. In this book, a leading philosopher of technology explores the meaning of bodies in technology-how the sense of our bodies and of our orientation in the world is affected by the various information technologies.

Bodies in Technology begins with an analysis of embodiment in cyberspace, then moves on to consider ways in which social theorists have interpreted or overlooked these conditions. An astute and sensible judge of these theories, Don Ihde is a uniquely provocative and helpful guide through contemporary thinking about technology and embodiment, drawing on sources and examples as various as video games, popular films, the workings of e-mail, and virtual reality techniques.Charting the historical, philosophical, and practical territory between virtual reality and real life, this work is an important contribution to the national conversation on the impact technology-and information technology in particular-has on our lives in a wired, global age.

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Bodies in the Bog and the Archaeological Imagination
Karin Sanders
University of Chicago Press, 2009
Over the past few centuries, northern Europe’s bogs have yielded mummified men, women, and children who were deposited there as sacrifices in the early Iron Age and kept startlingly intact by the chemical properties of peat. In this remarkable account of their modern afterlives, Karin Sanders argues that the discovery of bog bodies began an extraordinary—and ongoing—cultural journey. 
           Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Sanders shows, these eerily preserved remains came alive in art and science as material metaphors for such concepts as trauma, nostalgia, and identity. Sigmund Freud, Joseph Beuys, Seamus Heaney, and other major figures have used them to reconsider fundamental philosophical, literary, aesthetic, and scientific concerns. Exploring this intellectual spectrum, Sanders contends that the power of bog bodies to provoke such a wide range of responses is rooted in their unique status as both archeological artifacts and human beings. They emerge as corporeal time capsules that transcend archaeology to challenge our assumptions about what we can know about the past. By restoring them to the roster of cultural phenomena that force us to confront our ethical and aesthetic boundaries, Bodies in the Bog excavates anew the question of what it means to be human.

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Bodies of Information
Intersectional Feminism and the Digital Humanities
Elizabeth Losh
University of Minnesota Press, 2018

A wide-ranging, interconnected anthology presents a diversity of feminist contributions to digital humanities

In recent years, the digital humanities has been shaken by important debates about inclusivity and scope—but what change will these conversations ultimately bring about? Can the digital humanities complicate the basic assumptions of tech culture, or will this body of scholarship and practices simply reinforce preexisting biases? Bodies of Information addresses this crucial question by assembling a varied group of leading voices, showcasing feminist contributions to a panoply of topics, including ubiquitous computing, game studies, new materialisms, and cultural phenomena like hashtag activism, hacktivism, and campaigns against online misogyny.

Taking intersectional feminism as the starting point for doing digital humanities, Bodies of Information is diverse in discipline, identity, location, and method. Helpfully organized around keywords of materiality, values, embodiment, affect, labor, and situatedness, this comprehensive volume is ideal for classrooms. And with its multiplicity of viewpoints and arguments, it’s also an important addition to the evolving conversations around one of the fastest growing fields in the academy.

Contributors: Babalola Titilola Aiyegbusi, U of Lethbridge; Moya Bailey, Northeastern U; Bridget Blodgett, U of Baltimore; Barbara Bordalejo, KU Leuven; Jason Boyd, Ryerson U; Christina Boyles, Trinity College; Susan Brown, U of Guelph; Lisa Brundage, CUNY; micha cárdenas, U of Washington Bothell; Marcia Chatelain, Georgetown U; Danielle Cole; Beth Coleman, U of Waterloo; T. L. Cowan, U of Toronto; Constance Crompton, U of Ottawa; Amy E. Earhart, Texas A&M; Nickoal Eichmann-Kalwara, U of Colorado Boulder; Julia Flanders, Northeastern U Library; Sandra Gabriele, Concordia U; Brian Getnick; Karen Gregory, U of Edinburgh; Alison Hedley, Ryerson U; Kathryn Holland, MacEwan U; James Howe, Rutgers U; Jeana Jorgensen, Indiana U; Alexandra Juhasz, Brooklyn College, CUNY; Dorothy Kim, Vassar College; Kimberly Knight, U of Texas, Dallas; Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, Ryerson U; Sharon M. Leon, Michigan State; Izetta Autumn Mobley, U of Maryland; Padmini Ray Murray, Srishti Institute of Art, Design, and Technology; Veronica Paredes, U of Illinois; Roopika Risam, Salem State; Bonnie Ruberg, U of California, Irvine; Laila Shereen Sakr (VJ Um Amel), U of California, Santa Barbara; Anastasia Salter, U of Central Florida; Michelle Schwartz, Ryerson U; Emily Sherwood, U of Rochester; Deb Verhoeven, U of Technology, Sydney; Scott B. Weingart, Carnegie Mellon U. 


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Bodies of Inscription
A Cultural History of the Modern Tattoo Community
Margo DeMello
Duke University Press, 2004
Since the 1980s, tattooing has emerged anew in the United States as a widely appealing cultural, artistic, and social form. In Bodies of Inscription Margo DeMello explains how elite tattooists, magazine editors, and leaders of tattoo organizations have downplayed the working-class roots of tattooing in order to make it more palatable for middle-class consumption. She shows how a completely new set of meanings derived primarily from non-Western cultures has been created to give tattoos an exotic, primitive flavor.
Community publications, tattoo conventions, articles in popular magazines, and DeMello’s numerous interviews illustrate the interplay between class, culture, and history that orchestrated a shift from traditional Americana and biker tattoos to new forms using Celtic, tribal, and Japanese images. DeMello’s extensive interviews reveal the divergent yet overlapping communities formed by this class-based, American-style repackaging of the tattoo. After describing how the tattoo has moved from a mark of patriotism or rebellion to a symbol of exploration and status, the author returns to the predominantly middle-class movement that celebrates its skin art as spiritual, poetic, and self-empowering. Recognizing that the term “community” cannot capture the variations and class conflict that continue to thrive within the larger tattoo culture, DeMello finds in the discourse of tattooed people and their artists a new and particular sense of community and explores the unexpected relationship between this discourse and that of other social movements.
This ethnography of tattooing in America makes a substantive contribution to the history of tattooing in addition to relating how communities form around particular traditions and how the traditions themselves change with the introduction of new participants. Bodies of Inscription will have broad appeal and will be enjoyed by readers interested in cultural studies, American studies, sociology, popular culture, and body art.

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Bodies of Knowledge
Embodied Rhetorics in Theory and Practice
A. Abby Knoblauch
Utah State University Press, 2021
Bodies of Knowledge challenges homogenizing (mis)understandings of knowledge construction and provides a complex discussion of what happens when we do not attend to embodied rhetorical theories and practices. Because language is always a reflection of culture, to attempt to erase language and knowledge practices that reflect minoritized and historically excluded cultural experiences obscures th­e legitimacy of such experiences both within and outside the academy.
The pieces in Bodies of Knowledge draw explicit attention to the impact of the body on text, the impact of the body in text, the impact of the body as text, and the impact of the body upon textual production. The contributors investigate embodied rhetorics through the lenses of race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, disability and pain, technologies and ecologies, clothing and performance, and scent, silence, and touch. In doing so, they challenge the (false) notion that academic knowledge—that is, “real” knowledge—is disembodied and therefore presumed white, middle class, cis-het, able-bodied, and male. This collection lays bare how myriad bodies invent, construct, deliver, and experience the processes of knowledge building.
Experts in the field of writing studies provide the necessary theoretical frameworks to better understand productive (and unproductive) uses of embodied rhetorics within the academy and in the larger social realm. To help meet the theoretical and pedagogical needs of the discipline, Bodies of Knowledge addresses embodied rhetorics and embodied writing more broadly though a rich, varied, and intersectional approach. These authors address larger questions around embodiment while considering the various impacts of the body on theories and practices of rhetoric and composition.
Contributors: Scot Barnett, Margaret Booker, Katherine Bridgman, Sara DiCaglio, Kristie S. Fleckenstein, Vyshali Manivannan, Temptaous Mckoy, Julie Myatt, Julie Nelson, Ruth Osorio, Kate Pantelides, Caleb Pendygraft, Nadya Pittendrigh, Kellie Sharp-Hoskins, Anthony Stagliano, Megan Strom

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Bodies of Knowledge
Sexuality, Reproduction, and Women's Health in the Second Wave
Wendy Kline
University of Chicago Press, 2010

Throughout the 1970s and ’80s, women argued that unless they gained access to information about their own bodies, there would be no equality. In Bodies of Knowledge, Wendy Kline considers the ways in which ordinary women worked to position the female body at the center of women’s liberation.

As Kline shows, the struggle to attain this knowledge unified women but also divided them—according to race, class, sexuality, or level of professionalization. Each of the five chapters of Bodies of Knowledge examines a distinct moment or setting of the women’s movement in order to give life to the ideas, expectations, and pitfalls encountered by the advocates of women’s health: the making of Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973); the conflicts surrounding the training and practice of women’s pelvic exams; the emergence of abortion as a feminist issue; the battles over contraceptive regulation at the 1983 Depo-Provera FDA hearings; and the rise of the profession of midwifery. Including an epilogue that considers the experiences of the daughters of 1970s feminists, Bodies of Knowledge is an important contribution to the study of the bodies—that marked the lives—of feminism’s second wave.


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Bodies of Modernism
Physical Disability in Transatlantic Modernist Literature
Maren Tova Linett
University of Michigan Press, 2017
Bodies of Modernism brings a new and exciting analytical lens to modernist literature, that of critical disability studies. The book offers new readings of canonical and noncanonical writers from both sides of the Atlantic including Flannery O’Connor, Eudora Welty, H. G. Wells, D. H. Lawrence, Elizabeth Bowen, Henry Green, Olive Moore, Carson McCullers, Tennessee Williams, J. M. Synge, Florence Barclay, Virginia Woolf, and James Joyce. Through readings of this wide range of texts and with chapters focusing on mobility impairments, deafness, blindness, and deformity, the study reveals both modernism’s skepticism about and dependence on fantasies of whole, “normal” bodies.


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The Bodies of Others
Drag Dances and Their Afterlives
Selby Wynn Schwartz
University of Michigan Press, 2019
The Bodies of Others explores the politics of gender in motion. From drag ballerinas to faux queens, and from butoh divas to the club mothers of modern dance, the book delves into four decades of drag dances on American stages. Drag dances take us beyond glittery one-liners and into the spaces between gender norms. In these backstage histories, dancers give their bodies over to other selves, opening up the category of realness. The book maps out a drag politics of embodiment, connecting drag dances to queer hope, memory, and mourning. There are aging étoiles, midnight shows, mystical séances, and all of the dust and velvet of divas in their dressing-rooms. But these forty years of drag dances are also a cultural history, including Mark Morris dancing the death of Dido in the shadow of AIDS, and the swans of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo sketching an antiracist vision for ballet. Drawing on queer theory, dance history, and the embodied practices of dancers themselves, The Bodies of Others examines the ways in which drag dances undertake the work of a shared queer and trans politics.

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Bodies of Resistance
New Phenomenologies of Politics, Agency, and Culture
Laura Doyle
Northwestern University Press, 2001
This startling volume explores the traumas and possibilities of embodiment as it is lived in a political world. Unveiling the influence of phenomenology, particularly that of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, on contemporary thought. Bodies of Resistance cuts across the disciplines of philosophy, political theory, literature, and cultural studies to explore anew how we are at once produced by yet resistant to cultural norms.

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Bodies of Stone in the Media, Visual Culture and the Arts
Alessandra Violi
Amsterdam University Press, 2020
If mediatization has surprisingly revealed the secret life of inert matter and the 'face of things', the flipside of this has been the petrification of living organisms, an invasion of stone bodies in a state of suspended animation. Within a contemporary imaginary pervaded by new forms of animism, the paradigm of death looms large in many areas of artistic experimentation, pushing the modern body towards mineral modes of being which revive ancient myths of flesh-made-stone and the issue of the monument. Scholars in media, visual culture and the arts propose studies of bodies of stone, from actors simulating statues to the transmutation of the filmic body into a fossil; from the real treatment of the cadaver as a mineral living object to the rediscovery of materials such as wax; from the quest for a "thermal" equivalence between stone and flesh to the transformation of the biomedical body into a living monument.

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Bodies of the Text
Dance as Theory, Literature as Dance
Edited by Ellen W Goellner
Rutgers University Press, 1995
Dance and literary studies have traditionally been at odds: dancers and dance critics have understood academic analysis to be overly invested in the mind at the expense of body signification; literary critics and theorists have seen dance studies as anti-theoretical, even anti-intellectual. Bodies of the Text is the first book-length study of the interconnections between the two arts and the body of writing about them. The essays, by scholar-critics of dance and literature, explore dances actual and fictional to offer powerful new insights into issues of gender, race, ethnicity, popular culture, feminist aesthetics, historical "embodiment," identity politics, and narrativity. The general introduction traces the genealogy of dance studies in the academy to suggest why critical and theoretical attention to dance--and dance's challenges to writing--is both compelling and overdue. A milestone in interdisciplinary studies, Bodies of the Text opens both its fields to new inquiry, new theoretical precision, and to new readers and writers. 

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Bodies of Work
Civic Display and Labor in Industrial Pittsburgh
Edward Slavishak
Duke University Press, 2008
By the end of the nineteenth century, Pittsburgh emerged as a major manufacturing center in the United States. Its rise as a leading producer of steel, glass, and coal was fueled by machine technology and mass immigration, developments that fundamentally changed the industrial workplace. Because Pittsburgh’s major industries were almost exclusively male and renowned for their physical demands, the male working body came to symbolize multiple often contradictory narratives about strength and vulnerability, mastery and exploitation. In Bodies of Work, Edward Slavishak explores how Pittsburgh and the working body were symbolically linked in civic celebrations, the research of social scientists, the criticisms of labor reformers, advertisements, and workers’ self-representations. Combining labor and cultural history with visual culture studies, he chronicles a heated contest to define Pittsburgh’s essential character at the turn of the twentieth century, and he describes how that contest was conducted largely through the production of competing images.

Slavishak focuses on the workers whose bodies came to epitomize Pittsburgh, the men engaged in the arduous physical labor demanded by the city’s metals, glass, and coal industries. At the same time, he emphasizes how conceptions of Pittsburgh as quintessentially male limited representations of women in the industrial workplace. The threat of injury or violence loomed large for industrial workers at the turn of the twentieth century, and it recurs throughout Bodies of Work: in the marketing of artificial limbs, statistical assessments of the physical toll of industrial capitalism, clashes between labor and management, the introduction of workplace safety procedures, and the development of a statewide workmen’s compensation system.


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Bodies on the Front Lines
Performance, Gender, and Sexuality in Latin America and the Caribbean
Brenda Werth and Katherine Zien, Editors
University of Michigan Press, 2024
Revolutionary feminisms and queer and trans activist movements are traversing Latin America and the Caribbean. Bodies on the Front Lines situates recent performances and protest actions within legacies of homegrown gender and sexual rights activism from the South. Performances — enacted in public spaces and intimate venues, across national borders, and through circulating hashtags and digital media — play crucial roles in the elaboration, auto-theorization, translation, and reception of feminist, queer, and trans activism. Movements such as Argentina's NiUnaMenos (Not One Less) have brought together hundreds of thousands of protesters and ‘artivists’ on the streets of major cities in Latin America and beyond to denounce gender violence and demand gender, sexual, and reproductive rights. 

The volume’s contributors draw from rich legacies of theater, performance, and activism in the region, as well as decolonial and intersectional theorizing, to demonstrate the ways that performance practices enable activists to sustain their movements. The chapters engage diverse perspectives from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, transnational Central America, Peru, Puerto Rico, and Mexico.
Rather than taking an approach that simplifies complexities among states, Bodies on the Front Lines takes seriously the geopolitical stakes of examining Latin America and the Caribbean as a heterogeneous site of nations and networks. In chapters covering this wide geographical area, leading scholars in the fields of theater and performance studies showcase the aesthetic, social, and political work of performance in generating and fortifying gender and sexual activism in the Americas.

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Bodies on the Line
Performance and the Sixties Poetry Reading
Raphael Allison
University of Iowa Press, 2014
Bodies on the Line offers the first sustained study of the poetry reading in its most formative period: the 1960s. Raphael Allison closely examines a vast archive of audio recordings of several key postwar American poets to explore the social and literary context of the sixties poetry reading, which is characterized by contrasting differing styles of performance: the humanist style and the skeptical strain. The humanist style, made mainstream by the Beats and their imitators, is characterized by faith in the power of presence, emotional communion, and affect. The skeptical strain emphasizes openness of interpretation and multivalent meaning, a lack of stability or consistency, and ironic detachment.

By comparing these two dominant styles of reading, Allison argues that attention to sixties poetry readings reveals poets struggling between the kind of immediacy and presence that readings suggested and a private retreat from such performance-based publicity, one centered on the text itself. Recordings of Robert Frost, Charles Olson, Gwendolyn Brooks, Larry Eigner, and William Carlos Williams—all of whom emphasized voice, breath, and spoken language and who were inveterate professional readers in the sixties—expose this struggle in often surprising ways. In deconstructing assertions about the role and importance of the poetry reading during this period, Allison reveals just how dramatic, political, and contentious poetry readings could be. By discussing how to "hear" as well as "read" poetry, Bodies on the Line offers startling new vantage points from which to understand American poetry since the 1960s as both performance and text.

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Bodies on the Verge
Queering Pauline Epistles
Joseph A. Marchal
SBL Press, 2019

A collection that resets the terms of interpreting the Pauline letters

Interpretation of Paul's letters often proves troubling, since people frequently cite them when debating controversial matters of gender and sexuality. Rather than focusing on the more common defensive responses to those expected prooftexts that supposedly address homosexuality, the essays in this collection reflect the range, rigor, vitality, and creativity of other interpretive options influenced by queer studies. Thus key concepts and practices for understanding these letters in terms of history, theology, empire, gender, race, and ethnicity, among others, are rethought through queer interventions within both ancient settings and more recent history and literature.


  • New options for how to interpret and use Paul's letters, particularly in light of their use in debates about sexuality and gender
  • Developing approaches in queer studies that help with understanding and using Pauline letters and interpretations differently
  • Key reflections on the two "clobber passages" (Rom 1:26-27 and 1 Cor 6:9) that demonstrate the relevance of a far wider range of texts throughout the Pauline corpus

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Colonial Transactions
Imaginaries, Bodies, and Histories in Gabon
Florence Bernault
Duke University Press, 2019
In Colonial Transactions Florence Bernault moves beyond the racial divide that dominates colonial studies of Africa. Instead, she illuminates the strange and frightening imaginaries that colonizers and colonized shared on the ground. Bernault looks at Gabon from the late nineteenth century to the present, historicizing the most vivid imaginations and modes of power in Africa today: French obsessions with cannibals, the emergence of vampires and witches in the Gabonese imaginary, and the use of human organs for fetishes. Struggling over objects, bodies, agency, and values, colonizers and colonized entered relations that are better conceptualized as "transactions." Together they also shared an awareness of how the colonial situation broke down moral orders and forced people to use the evil side of power. This foreshadowed the ways in which people exercise agency in contemporary Africa, as well as the proliferation of magical fears and witchcraft anxieties in present-day Gabon. Overturning theories of colonial and postcolonial nativism, this book is essential reading for historians and anthropologists of witchcraft, power, value, and the body.

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Daily Labors
Marketing Identity and Bodies on a New York City Street Corner
Carolyn Pinedo-Turnovsky
Temple University Press, 2019

On street corners throughout the country, men stand or sit together patiently while they wait for someone looking to hire un buen trabajador (a good worker). These day laborers are visible symbols of the changing nature of work—and the demographics of workers—in the United States. 

Carolyn Pinedo-Turnovsky spent nearly three years visiting with African American men and Latino immigrant men who looked for work as day laborers at a Brooklyn street intersection. Her fascinating ethnography, Daily Labors, considers these immigrants and citizens as active participants in their social and economic life. They not only work for wages but also labor daily to institute change, create knowledge, and contribute new meanings to shape their social world. 

Daily Labors reveals how ideologies about race, gender, nation, and legal status operate on the corner and the vulnerabilities, discrimination, and exploitation workers face in this labor market. Pinedo-Turnovsky shows how workers market themselves to conform to employers’ preconceptions of a “good worker” and how this performance paradoxically leads to a more precarious workplace experience. Ultimately, she sheds light on belonging, community, and what a “good day laborer” for these workers really is.


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Dancing Revolution
Bodies, Space, and Sound in American Cultural History
Christopher J. Smith
University of Illinois Press, 2019
Throughout American history, patterns of political intent and impact have linked the wide range of dance movements performed in public places. Groups diverse in their cultural or political identities, or in both, long ago seized on street dancing, marches, open-air revival meetings, and theaters, as well as in dance halls and nightclubs, as a tool for contesting, constructing, or reinventing the social order.

Dancing Revolution presents richly diverse case studies to illuminate these patterns of movement and influence in movement and sound in the history of American public life. Christopher J. Smith spans centuries, geographies, and cultural identities as he delves into a wide range of historical moments. These include the God-intoxicated public demonstrations of Shakers and Ghost Dancers in the First and Second Great Awakenings; creolized antebellum dance in cities from New Orleans to Bristol; the modernism and racial integration that imbued twentieth-century African American popular dance; the revolutionary connotations behind images of dance from Josephine Baker to the Marx Brothers; and public movement's contributions to hip hop, antihegemonic protest, and other contemporary transgressive communities’ physical expressions of dissent and solidarity.

Multidisciplinary and wide-ranging, Dancing Revolution examines how Americans turned the rhythms of history into the movement behind the movements.


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Differences in Medicine
Unraveling Practices, Techniques, and Bodies
Marc Berg and Annemarie Mol, eds.
Duke University Press, 1998
Western medicine—especially in contrast with non-Western traditions of medical practice—is widely thought of as a coherent and unified field in which beliefs, definitions, and judgments are shared. Marc Berg and Annemarie Mol debunk this myth with an interdisciplinary and intercultural collection of essays that reveals the significantly varied ways practitioners of “conventional” Western medicine handle bodies, study test results, configure statistics, and converse with patients .
Combining theoretical work with interviews and direct observation of the activities and interactions of doctors, nurses, technicians, and patients, the contributors to this volume provide comparative studies of specific cases. Individual chapters explore topics such as the contested domain of fetal surgery in a California hospital, the construction of gender identity before transsexual surgery in Germany, and differences in the treatment and definition of pain by two clinics in France. Differences in Medicine advances earlier studies on medicine’s social diversity and regional variations to expose significant differences in the presumptions and decisions that affect patients’ lives, and marks a dramatic development in both the study of medicine and in science studies generally.
Revealing the ways in which the bodies and lives of people are constructed as medical objects by practitioners, technologies, and textbooks, this collection calls for and initiates new, more textured investigations and theories of the body in medicine and the practice of science. It will open new discussions among medical and healthcare professionals as well as scholars in medical anthropology, science studies, sociology, philosophy, and the history of medicine.

Isabelle Baszanger, Marc Berg, Geoffrey C. Bowker, Monica J. Casper, Charis M. Cussins, Nicolas Dodier, Stefan Hirschauer, Annemarie Mol, Vicky Singleton, Susan Leigh Star, Stefan Timmermans, Dick Willems


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Eating beside Ourselves
Thresholds of Foods and Bodies
Heather Paxson, editor
Duke University Press, 2023
Eating beside Ourselves examines eating as a site of transfer and transformation across bodies and selves. The contributors show that by turning organic substance into food, acts of eating create interconnected food webs organized by relative conditions of edibility through which eaters may in turn become eaten. In case studies ranging from nineteenth- and twentieth-century industrial animal husbandry in the United States, biodynamic winemaking in Aotearoa New Zealand, and reindeer herding in Arctic Norway to the creation of taste sensation in pet food and the entanglement of sugar and diabetes in the Caribbean, the contributors explore how food and eating create thresholds for human and nonhuman relations. These thresholds mediate different conditions and states of being: between living and dying, between the edible and the inedible, and the relationship between living organisms and their surrounding environment. In this way, acts of eating and the process of metabolism partake in the making and unmaking of multispecies ontologies, taxonomies, and ecologies.

Contributors. Alex Blanchette, Deborah Heath, Hannah Landecker, Marianne Elisabeth Lien, Amy Moran-Thomas, Heather Paxson, Harris Solomon, Emily Yates-Doerr, Wim Van Daele

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Electronic Eros
Bodies and Desire in the Postindustrial Age
By Claudia Springer
University of Texas Press, 1996

The love affair between humans and the machines that have made us faster and more powerful has expanded into cyberspace, where computer technology seems to offer both the promise of heightened erotic fulfillment and the threat of human obsolescence. In this pathfinding study, Claudia Springer explores the techno-erotic imagery in recent films, cyberpunk fiction, comic books, television, software, and writing on virtual reality and artificial intelligence to reveal how these futuristic images actually encode current debates concerning gender roles and sexuality.

Drawing on psychoanalytical and film theory, as well as the history of technology, Springer offers the first sustained analysis of eroticism and gender in such films as RoboCop, The Terminator, Eve of Destruction, and Lawnmower Man; cyberpunk books such as Neuromancer, Count Zero, Virtual Light, A Fire in the Sun, and Lady El; the comic books Cyberpunk and Interface, among others; and the television series Mann and Machine. Her analysis demonstrates that while new electronic technologies have inspired changes in some pop culture texts, others stubbornly recycle conventions from the past, refusing to come to terms with the new postmodern social order.

Written to be accessible and entertaining for students and general readers as well as scholars, Electronic Eros will be of interest to a wide interdisciplinary audience.


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Feminist Geography Unbound
Discomfort, Bodies, and Prefigured Futures
Banu Gokariksel
West Virginia University Press, 2021
A field-defining collection of new voices on gender, feminism, and geography.

Feminist Geography Unbound is a call to action—to expand imaginations and to read and travel more widely and carefully through terrains that have been cast as niche, including Indigenous and decolonial feminisms, Black geographies, and trans geographies. The original essays in this collection center three themes to unbind and enable different feminist futures: discomfort as a site where differences generate both productive and immobilizing frictions, gendered and racialized bodies as sites of political struggle, and the embodied work of building the future.

Drawing on diverse theoretical backgrounds and a range of field sites, contributors consider how race, gender, citizenship, and class often determine who feels comfort and who is tasked with producing it. They work through bodies as terrains of struggle that make claims to space and enact political change, and they ask how these politics prefigure the futures that we fear or desire. The book also champions feminist geography as practice, through interviews with feminist scholars and interludes in which feminist collectives speak to their experience inhabiting and transforming academic spaces. Feminist Geography Unbound is grounded in a feminist geography that has long forced the discipline to grapple with the production of difference, the unequal politics of knowledge production, and gender’s constitutive role in shaping social life.

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Freedom without Permission
Bodies and Space in the Arab Revolutions
Frances S. Hasso and Zakia Salime, editors
Duke University Press, 2016
As the 2011 uprisings in North Africa reverberated across the Middle East, a diverse cross section of women and girls publicly disputed gender and sexual norms in novel, unauthorized, and often shocking ways. In a series of case studies ranging from Tunisia's 14 January Revolution to the Taksim Gezi Park protests in Istanbul, the contributors to Freedom without Permission reveal the centrality of the intersections between body, gender, sexuality, and space to these groundbreaking events. Essays include discussions of the blogs written by young women in Egypt, the Women2Drive campaign in Saudi Arabia, the reintegration of women into the public sphere in Yemen, the sexualization of female protesters encamped at Bahrain's Pearl Roundabout, and the embodied, performative, and artistic spaces of Morocco's 20 February Movement. Conceiving of revolution as affective, embodied, spatialized, and aesthetic forms of upheaval and transgression, the contributors show how women activists imagined, inhabited, and deployed new spatial arrangements that undermined the public-private divisions of spaces, bodies, and social relations, continuously transforming them through symbolic and embodied transgressions. 

Contributors. Lamia Benyoussef, Susanne Dahlgren, Karina Eileraas, Susana Galan, Banu Gökariksel, Frances S. Hasso, Sonali Pahwa, Zakia Salime

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Hearts and Minds
Bodies, Poetry, and Resistance in the Vietnam Era
Michael Bibby
Rutgers University Press, 1996

The early 1960s to the mid-1970s was one of the most turbulent periods in American history. The U.S. military was engaged in its longest, costliest overseas conflict, while the home front was torn apart by riots, protests, and social activism. In the midst of these upheavals, an underground and countercultural press emerged, giving activists an extraordinary forum for a range of imaginative expressions. Poetry held a prominent place in this alternative media. The poem was widely viewed by activists as an inherently anti-establishment form of free expression, and poets were often in the vanguards of political activism.

Hearts and Minds is the first book-length study of the poems of the Black Liberation, Women's Liberation, and GI Resistance movements during the Vietnam era. Drawing on recent cultural and literary theories, Bibby investigates the significance of images, tropes, and symbols of human bodies in activist  poetry. Many key political slogans of the period––"black is beautiful," "off our backs"––foreground the body. Bibby demonstrates that figurations of bodies marked important sites of social and political struggle.

Although poetry played such an important role in Vietnam-era activism, literary criticism has largely ignored most of this literature. Bibby recuperates the cultural-historical importance of Vietnam-era activist poetry, highlighting both its relevant contexts and revealing how it engaged political and social struggles that continue to motivate contemporary history. Arguing for the need to read cultural history through these "underground" texts, Hearts and Minds offers new grounds for understanding the recent history of American poetry and the role poetry has played as a medium of imaginative political expression.



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The Inner Life of Race
Souls, Bodies, and the History of Racial Power
Leerom Medovoi
Duke University Press, 2024
In The Inner Life of Race, Leerom Medovoi turns away from conventional views of race as a politics of the phenotypical body to theorize race instead as a politics of populational threat. Racism’s genealogy, argues Medovoi, invokes longstanding theological distinctions between the body and the soul. While the body can be seen and marked, the soul signals potentially threatening interiorities: dangerous intentions, beliefs, or desires. Race is the power-effect of reading the body in order to police the political threat of the soul. Medovoi’s genealogy begins with medieval deployments of inquisition and confession to wage war against heretics, infidels, and their threat to the salvation of souls. In early modern Spain, these pastoral technologies of power catalyzed the invention of race as a language for the danger of formerly Jewish and Muslim converts. Medovoi shows how this discourse expanded into anti-blackness and anti-indigeneity throughout the colonial world and modern Europe, laying the foundation for racialized capitalism and liberal governmentality. Medovoi weaves histories of color-line racism, nativism, Islamophobia, antisemitism, and anticommunism into a pathbreaking account of the political work populational racism accomplishes.

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Bodies And British Romanticism
Paul Youngquist
University of Minnesota Press, 2003

A surprising evaluation of the role of the physical body in the construction of British identity

Eighteenth-century medicine used the word “monstrosities” to describe physically deformed bodies—those irreducible to the “proper body” in their singular, sometimes startling difference. Considering British society in confrontation with such monstrosities, Paul Youngquist reveals the cultural politics of embodiment in Britain during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Drawing on the histories of medicine, economics, liberalism, and nationalism, his work shows that bodies are not simply born but rather built by cultural practices directed toward particular social ends.

Among the phenomena Youngquist treats are the science of comparative anatomy, the annual festivity of Bartholomew Fair, the social status of black Britons, opium habitués, pregnant women, and wounded war veterans. The authors he engages include John Locke, William Blake, Olaudah Equiano, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Thomas De Quincey, Mary Wollstonecraft, Lord Byron, and Mary Shelley. Uniquely interdisciplinary, formidably researched, and replete with curious illustrations, this remarkable book should be of interest to anyone concerned with the historical and cultural fate of bodies in liberal society—and with the importance of deviance in determining that fate.

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Monstrosity, Bodies, and Knowledge in Early Modern England
Curiosity to See and Behold
Whitney Dirks
Amsterdam University Press

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Native To The Nation
Disciplining Landscapes And Bodies In Australia
Allaine Cerwonka
University of Minnesota Press, 2004
In a world increasingly marked by migration and dislocation, the question of displacement, and of establishing a sense of belonging, has become ever more common and ever more urgent. But what of those who stay in place? How do people who remain in their place of origin or ancestral homeland rearticulate a sense of connection, of belonging, when ownership of the territory they occupy is contested? Focusing on Australia, Allaine Cerwonka examines the physical and narrative spatial practices by which people reclaim territory in the wake of postcolonial claims to land by indigenous people and new immigration of “foreigners.” As a multicultural, postcolonial nation whose claims to land until recently were premised on the notion of the continent as “empty” (terra nullius), Australia offers an especially rich lens for understanding the reterritorialization of the nation-state in an era of globalization. To this end, Native to the Nation provides a multisited ethnography of two communities in Melbourne, the Fitzroy Police Station and the East Melbourne Garden Club, allowing us to see how bodies are managed and nations physically constructed in everyday confrontations and cultivations. Allaine Cerwonka is assistant professor of women’s studies and political science at Georgia State University.

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Communicating with Bodies and Machines in the Nineteenth Century
Laura Otis
University of Michigan Press, 2011
This compelling new interdisciplinary study investigates the scientific and cultural roots of contemporary conceptions of the network, including computer information systems, the human nervous system, and communications technology. Laura Otis, neuroscientist, literary scholar, and recent recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, demonstrates that the image of the network is centuries old; it is by no means a modern notion. Placing current comparisons of nerve and computer networks in perspective, Otis explores early analogies linking nerves and telegraphs and demonstrates the influence that nineteenth-century neurobiologists, engineers, and fiction writers influenced each other's ideas about communication.
The interdisciplinary sweep of this book is impressive. Otis focuses simultaneously on literary works by such authors as George Eliot, Bram Stoker, Henry James, and Mark Twain and on the scientific and technological achievements of such pioneers as Luigi Galvani, Hermann von Helmholtz, Charles Babbage, Samuel Morse, and Werner von Siemens.
This unique juxtaposition of physiology, engineering, and literature reveals the common thoughts shared by writers in widely diverse fields and suggests that our current comparisons of nerve and computer networks may not only enhance but shape our understanding of both neurobiology and technology.
Highly accessible and jargon-free, Networking will appeal to general readers as well as to scholars in the fields of interdisciplinary studies, nineteenth-century literature, and the history of science and technology.
Laura Otis is Associate Professor of English, Hofstra University. In 2000, she was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship for her interdisciplinary studies of literature and science. Her previous books include Membranes: Metaphors of Invasion in Nineteenth-Century Literature, Science, and Politics and Organic Memory: History and the Body in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries.

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Networks of Improvement
Literature, Bodies, and Machines in the Industrial Revolution
Jon Mee
University of Chicago Press, 2023
A new literary-cultural history of the Industrial Revolution in Britain from the late eighteenth to the mid-nineteenth centuries.

Working against the stubbornly persistent image of “dark satanic mills,” in many ways so characteristic of literary Romanticism, Jon Mee provides a fresh, revisionary account of the Industrial Revolution as a story of unintended consequences. In Networks of Improvement, Mee reads a wide range of texts—economic, medical, and more conventionally “literary”—with a focus on their circulation through networks and institutions. Mee shows how a project of enlightened liberal reform articulated in Britain’s emerging manufacturing towns led to unexpectedly coercive forms of machine productivity, a pattern that might be seen repeating in the digital technologies of our own time. Instead of treating the Industrial Revolution as Romanticism’s “other,” Mee shows how writing, practices, and institutions emanating from these industrial towns developed a new kind of knowledge economy, one where local literary and philosophical societies served as important transmission hubs for the circulation of knowledge.

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Painting the Skin
Pigments on Bodies and Codices in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica
Edited by Élodie Dupey García and María Luisa Vázquez de Ágredos Pascual
University of Arizona Press, 2018
Mesoamerican communities past and present are characterized by their strong inclination toward color and their expert use of the natural environment to create dyes and paints. In pre-Hispanic times, skin was among the preferred surfaces on which to apply coloring materials. Archaeological research and historical and iconographic evidence show that, in Mesoamerica, the human body—alive or dead—received various treatments and procedures for coloring it.

Painting the Skin brings together exciting research on painted skins in Mesoamerica. Chapters explore the materiality, uses, and cultural meanings of the colors applied to a multitude of skins, including bodies, codices made of hide and vegetal paper, and even building “skins.” Contributors offer physicochemical analysis and compare compositions, manufactures, and attached meanings of pigments and colorants across various social and symbolic contexts and registers. They also compare these Mesoamerican colors with those used in other ancient cultures from both the Old and New Worlds. This cross-cultural perspective reveals crucial similarities and differences in the way cultures have painted on skins of all types.

Examining color in Mesoamerica broadens understandings of Native religious systems and world views. Tracing the path of color use and meaning from pre-Columbian times to the present allows for the study of the preparation, meanings, social uses, and thousand-year origins of the coloring materials used by today’s Indigenous peoples.


María Isabel Álvarez Icaza Longoria
Christine Andraud
Bruno Giovanni Brunetti
David Buti
Davide Domenici
Élodie Dupey García
Tatiana Falcón Álvarez
Anne Genachte-Le Bail
Fabrice Goubard
Aymeric Histace
Patricia Horcajada Campos
Stephen Houston
Olivia Kindl
Bertrand Lavédrine
Linda R. Manzanilla Naim
Anne Michelin
Costanza Miliani
Virgina E. Miller
Sélim Natahi
Fabien Pottier
Patricia Quintana Owen
Franco D. Rossi
Antonio Sgamellotti
Vera Tiesler
Aurélie Tournié
María Luisa Vázquez de Ágredos Pascual
Cristina Vidal Lorenzo

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A Poison Like No Other
How Microplastics Corrupted Our Planet and Our Bodies
Matt Simon
Island Press, 2022
“Informed, utterly blindsiding account.” - Booklist, starred review

It’s falling from the sky and in the air we breathe. It’s in our food, our clothes, and our homes. It’s microplastic and it’s everywhere—including our own bodies. Scientists are just beginning to discover how these tiny particles threaten health, but the studies are alarming.
In A Poison Like No Other, Matt Simon reveals a whole new dimension to the plastic crisis, one even more disturbing than plastic bottles washing up on shores and grocery bags dumped in landfills. Dealing with discarded plastic is bad enough, but when it starts to break down, the real trouble begins. The very thing that makes plastic so useful and ubiquitous – its toughness – means it never really goes away. It just gets smaller and smaller: eventually small enough to enter your lungs or be absorbed by crops or penetrate a fish’s muscle tissue before it becomes dinner.
Unlike other pollutants that are single elements or simple chemical compounds, microplastics represent a cocktail of toxicity: plastics contain at least 10,000 different chemicals. Those chemicals are linked to diseases from diabetes to hormone disruption to cancers.
A Poison Like No Other is the first book to fully explore this new dimension of the plastic crisis, following the intrepid scientists who travel to the ends of the earth and the bottom of the ocean to understand the consequences of our dependence on plastic. As Simon learns from these researchers, there is no easy fix. But we will never curb our plastic addiction until we begin to recognize the invisible particles all around us. 

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Politics Of Selfhood
Bodies And Identities In Global Capitalism
Richard Harvey Brown
University of Minnesota Press, 2003

Looks at the ways social change is expressed through debates over identities and bodies

In bodies and selves, we can see politics, economics, and culture play out, and the tensions and crises of society made visible. The women’s movement, lobbies for the elderly, pro-choice and pro-life movements, AIDS research and education, pedophilia and repressed memory, global sports spectacles, organ donor networks, campaigns for safe sex, chastity, or preventive medicine—all are aspects of the contemporary politics of bodies and identities touched on in this book. Three broad themes run through the collection: how the body is constructed in various ways for different purposes, how the electronic media and its uses shape selves and sensualities and contribute to civic discourse, and how global capitalism acts as a direct force in these processes. By taking a distinctly cross-cultural and comparative approach, this volume explores more fully than ever the political, economic, institutional, and cultural settings of corporeality, identity, and representation.

Contributors: Antonella Fabri, John Jay College and New York Academy of Medicine; Eva Illouz, Hebrew U of Jerusalem; Philip W. Jenks, Portland State U; Lauren Langman, Loyola U; Timothy W. Luke, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State U; Timothy McGettigan, Colorado State U, Pueblo; Margaret J. Tally, SUNY, Empire State College.

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The Remains of War
Bodies, Politics, and the Search for American Soldiers Unaccounted For in Southeast Asia
Thomas M. Hawley
Duke University Press, 2005
The ongoing effort of the United States to account for its missing Vietnam War soldiers is unique. The United States requires the repatriation and positive identification of soldiers’ bodies to remove their names from the list of the missing. This quest for certainty in the form of the material, identified body marks a dramatic change from previous wars, in which circumstantial evidence often sufficed to account for missing casualties. In The Remains of War, Thomas M. Hawley considers why the body of the missing soldier came to assume such significance in the wake of the Vietnam War. Illuminating the relationship between the effort to account for missing troops and the political and cultural forces of the post-Vietnam era, Hawley argues that the body became the repository of the ambiguities and anxieties surrounding the U.S. involvement and defeat in Southeast Asia.

Hawley combines the theoretical insights of Judith Butler, Michel Foucault, and Emmanuel Levinas with detailed research into the history of the movement to recover the remains of soldiers missing in Vietnam. He examines the practices that constitute the Defense Department’s accounting protocol: the archival research, archaeological excavation, and forensic identification of recovered remains. He considers the role of the American public and the families of missing soldiers in demanding the release of pows and encouraging the recovery of the missing; the place of the body of the Vietnam veteran within the war’s legacy; and the ways that memorials link individual bodies to the body politic. Highlighting the contradictions inherent in the recovery effort, Hawley reflects on the ethical implications of the massive endeavor of the American government and many officials in Vietnam to account for the remains of American soldiers.


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Sensing Health
Bodies, Data, and Digital Health Technologies
Mikki Kressbach
University of Michigan Press, 2024
In the age of Apple Watches and Fitbits, the concept of “health” emerges through an embodied experience of a digital health device or platform, not simply through the biomedical data it provides. Sensing Health: Bodies, Data, and Digital Health Technologies analyzes popular digital health technologies as aesthetic experiences to understand how these devices and platforms have impacted the way individuals perceive their bodies, behaviors, health, and well-being. By tracing design alongside embodied experiences of digital health, Kressbach shows how these technologies aim to quantify, track and regulate the body, while at the same time producing moments that bring the body’s affordances and relationship to the fore. This mediated experience of “health” may offer an alternative to biomedical definitions that define health against illness.

To capture and analyze digital health experiences, Kressbach develops a method that combines descriptive practices from Film and Media Studies and Phenomenology. After examining the design and feedback structures of digital health platforms and devices, the author uses her own first-person accounts to analyze the impact of the technology on her body, behaviors, and perception of health. Across five chapters focused on different categories of digital health—menstrual trackers, sexual wellness technologies, fitness trackers, meditation and breathing technologies, and posture and running wearables—Sensing Health demonstrates a method of analysis that acknowledges and critiques the biomedical structures of digital health technology while remaining attentive to the lived experiences of users. Through a focus on the intersection of technological design and experience, this method can be used by researchers, scholars, designers, and developers alike. 

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Sexing Empire
Bodies, Gender, and Desire in Colonial and Postcolonial Power Relations
Ben Cowan, Nicole M. Guidotto-Hernández, and Jason Ruiz, special issue editors
Duke University Press

From steamships to steam rooms and sweat lodges to sweatshops, processes of pleasures and desire have shaped the regulation and classification of bodies in a wide variety of colonial settings. On beaches and online, and in boardrooms, temples, and taverns, sexual practices have always influenced imperial power relations. In the many places and relationships where colonialism still affects economics, sex and sexuality remain a driving—if sometimes hidden—force. The contributors to this provocative issue contemplate empire as a global process involving sexualized subjects and objects, with essays that consider the history of sex and (or in) empire across several disciplines. Their topics include a "bewitched" nun in colonial Peru, contemporary call-center workers in the Philippines, and General Douglas MacArthur’s mixed-race Filipina mistress, among many others.

Ben Cowan is assistant professor of world history at George Mason University. Nicole M. Guidotti-Hernández is associate professor of American studies at the University of Texas at Austin and the author of Unspeakable Violence: Remapping U.S. and Mexican National Imaginaries, also published by Duke University Press. Jason Ruiz is assistant professor of American studies at the University of Notre Dame and the author of Americans in the Treasure House: Travel to Porfirian Mexico and the Cultural Politics of Empire.

Contributors: Laura Briggs, Keith Camacho, Ben Cowan, Emmanuel David, Vernadette Vicuña Gonzalez, Nicole M. Guidotti-Hernández, Elizabeth Mesok, Rachel Sarah O’Toole, Katrina Phillips, Jason Ruiz


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Staging Lives in Latin American Theater
Bodies, Objects, Archives
Paola S. Hernández
Northwestern University Press, 2021
Staging Lives in Latin American Theater: Bodies, Objects, Archives examines twenty‑first‑century documentary theater in Latin America, focusing on important plays by the Argentine director Vivi Tellas, the Argentine playwright and director Lola Arias, the Mexican theater collective Teatro Línea de Sombra, and the Chilean playwright and director Guillermo Calderón. Paola S. Hernández demonstrates how material objects and archives—photographs, videos, and documents such as witness reports, legal briefs, and letters—come to life onstage. Hernández argues that present-day, live performances catalog these material archives, expanding and reinterpreting the objects’ meanings. These performances produce an affective relationship between actor and audience, visualizing truths long obscured by repressive political regimes and transforming theatrical spaces into sites of witness. This process also highlights the liminality between fact and fiction, questioning the veracity of the archive.

Richly detailed, nuanced, and theoretically wide-ranging, Staging Lives in Latin American Theater reveals a range of interpretations about how documentary theater can conceptualize the idea of self while also proclaiming a new mode of testimony through theatrical practices.  

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Staging Tourism
Bodies on Display from Waikiki to Sea World
Jane C. Desmond
University of Chicago Press, 1999
From Shamu the dancing whale at Sea World to Hawaiian lu'au shows, Staging Tourism analyzes issues of performance in a wide range of tourist venues. Jane C. Desmond argues that the public display of bodies—how they look, what they do, where they do it, who watches, and under what conditions—is profoundly important in structuring identity categories of race, gender, and cultural affiliation. These fantastic spectacles of corporeality form the basis of hugely profitable tourist industries, which in turn form crucial arenas of public culture where embodied notions of identity are sold, enacted, and debated.

Gathering together written accounts, postcards, photographs, advertisements, films, and oral histories as well as her own interpretations of these displays, Desmond gives us a vibrant account of U.S. tourism in Waikiki from 1900 to the present. She then juxtaposes cultural tourism with "animal tourism" in the United States, which takes place at zoos, aquariums, and animal theme parks. In each case, Desmond argues, the relationship between the viewer and the viewed is ultimately based on concepts of physical difference harking back to the nineteenth century.

front cover of Tattoo
Bodies, Art and Exchange in the Pacific and the West
Edited by Nicholas Thomas, Anna Cole, and Bronwen Douglas
Reaktion Books, 2005
The popularity of tattoos today is a revival of a practice begun in the late eighteenth century, when Westerners first made contact with the native peoples of the Pacific. The term ‘tattoo’ entered Europe with the publication of Captain Cook’s voyages in the 1770s, and Pacific tattoos became fashionable in the West as sailors, whalers and explorers brought home tattoos from Tahiti, the Marquesas, New Zealand and Polynesia. In recent years these early contacts have been revived, as native tattooists from Oceania have begun tattooing non-Polynesians in Europe, the USA and elsewhere. Tattoo is both a fascinating book about these early Oceanic–European exchanges, that also documents developments up to the present day, and the first to look at the history of tattooing in Oceania itself. Documenting these complex cultural interactions in the first part of the book, the authors move from issues of encounter, representation and exchange to the interventions of missionaries and the colonial state in local tattoo practices. Highly illustrated with many previously unseen images, for example the original voyage sketches of the first Russian circumnavigation of 1803–6, this is a fascinating account of early tattooing and cultural exchange in Oceania, and will appeal to the wide audience interested in the history of tattooing.

logo for Duke University Press
Bodies, Art, and Exchange in the Pacific and the West
Nicholas Thomas, Anna Cole, and Bronwen Douglas, eds.
Duke University Press, 2005
The history of tattooing is shrouded in controversy. Citing the Polynesian derivation of the word “tattoo,” many scholars and tattoo enthusiasts have believed that the modern practice of tattooing originated in the Pacific, and specifically in the contacts between Captain Cook’s seamen and the Tahitians. Tattoo demonstrates that while the history of tattooing is far more complex than this, Pacific body arts have provided powerful stimuli to the West intermittently from the eighteenth century to the present day. The essays collected here document the extraordinary, intertwined histories of processes of cultural exchange and Pacific tattoo practices. Art historians, anthropologists, and scholars of Oceania provide a transcultural history of tattooing in and beyond the Pacific.

The contributors examine the contexts in which Pacific tattoos were “discovered” by Europeans, track the history of the tattooing of Europeans visiting the region, and look at how Pacific tattooing was absorbed, revalued, and often suppressed by agents of European colonization. They consider how European art has incorporated tattooing, and they explore contemporary manifestations of Pacific tattoo art, paying particular attention to the different trajectories of Samoan, Tahitian, and Maori tattooing and to the meaning of present-day appropriations of tribal tattoos. New research has uncovered a fascinating visual archive of centuries-old tattoo images, and this richly illustrated volume includes a number of those—many published here for the first time—alongside images of contemporary tattooing in Polynesia and Europe. Tattoo offers a tantalizing glimpse into the plethora of stories and cross-cultural encounters that lie between the blood on a sailor’s backside in the eighteenth century and the hammering of a Samoan tattoo tool in the twenty-first.

Contributors. Peter Brunt, Anna Cole, Anne D’Alleva, Bronwen Douglas, Elena Govor, Makiko Kuwahara, Sean Mallon, Linda Waimarie Nikora, Mohi Rua, Cyril Siorat, Ngahuia Te Awekotuku, Nicholas Thomas, Joanna White


front cover of With Bodies
With Bodies
Narrative Theory and Embodied Cognition
Marco Caracciolo and Karin Kukkonen
The Ohio State University Press, 2021
We read not only with our eyes and minds, but with our entire body. In With Bodies, Marco Caracciolo and Karin Kukkonen move systematically through all elements of narrative and put them into dialogue with recent research in neuroscience, cognitive psychology, cognitive linguistics, and philosophy of mind to investigate what it means to read literary narratives bodily. They draw their findings from a wide corpus of material—narratives from antiquity to the present and composed in various languages, from Apuleius’s Metamorphoses to Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall—and craft their embodied narratology to retool current theories about authors, narrators and characters, time and space in storyworlds, and plot. Their investigation serves as a foundation for wider discussions on embodied narratology’s contributions to literary history, computation and AI, posthumanism, gender studies, and world literature.

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