Most of us grew up with Aesop's Fables—tales of talking animals, with morals attached. In fact, the familiar versions of the stories attributed to this enigmatic and astute storyteller are based on adaptations of Aesop by the liberated Roman slave Phaedrus. In turn, Phaedrus's renderings have been rewritten so extensively over the centuries that they do not do justice to the originals. In Aesop's Human Zoo, legendary Cambridge classicist John Henderson puts together a surprising set of up-front translations—fifty sharp, raw, and sometimes bawdy, fables by Phaedrus into the tersest colloquial English verse.
Providing unusual insights into the heart of Roman culture, these clever poems open up odd avenues of ancient lore and life as they explore social types and physical aspects of the body, regularly mocking the limitations of human nature and offering vulgar or promiscuous interpretations of the stuff of social life.
Featuring folksy proverbs and satirical anecdotes, filled with saucy naughtiness and awful puns, Aesop's Human Zoo will amuse you with its eccentricities and hit home with its shrewdly candid and red raw messages. The entertainment offered in this volume of impeccably accurate translations is truly a novelty—a good-hearted and knowing laugh courtesy of classical poetry. Beginning to advanced classicists and Latin scholars will appreciate the original Latin text provided in this bilingual edition. The splash of classic Thomas Bewick wood engravings to accompany the fables renders the collection complete.
Judith Farquhar’s innovative study of medicine and popular culture in modern China reveals the thoroughly political and historical character of pleasure. Ranging over a variety of cultural terrains--fiction, medical texts, film and television, journalism, and observations of clinics and urban daily life in Beijing—Appetites challenges the assumption that the mundane enjoyments of bodily life are natural and unvarying. Farquhar analyzes modern Chinese reflections on embodied existence to show how contemporary appetites are grounded in history. From eating well in improving economic times to memories of the late 1950s famine, from the flavors of traditional Chinese medicine to modernity’s private sexual passions, this book argues that embodiment in all its forms must be invented and sustained in public reflections about personal and national life. As much at home in science studies and social theory as in the details of life in Beijing, this account uses anthropology, cultural studies, and literary criticism to read contemporary Chinese life in a materialist and reflexive mode. For both Maoist and market reform periods, this is a story of high culture in appetites, desire in collective life, and politics in the body and its dispositions.
In 1987 poet and physician Jon Mukand published Sutured Words, a volume of contemporary poems to help patients, their families and friends, and all health care professionals embrace the complexity of healing, illness, and death. Robert Coles called the collection “a wonderful source of inspiration and instruction for any of us who are trying to figure out what our work means”; Norman Cousins was impressed by the “discernment and high quality of the selections.” Now, in Articulations, Mukand adds more than a hundred new poems to the strongest poems from Sutured Words to give us a lyrical, enlightened understanding of the human dimensions of suffering and illness
Over the past several decades, scholars in both the social sciences and humanities have moved beyond the idea that there is a “body proper”: a singular, discrete biological organism with an individual psyche. They have begun to perceive embodiment as dynamic rather than static, as experiences that vary over time and across the world as they are shaped by discourses, institutions, practices, technologies, and ideologies. What has emerged is a multiplicity of bodies, inviting a great many disciplinary points of view and modes of interpretation. The forty-seven readings presented in this volume range from classic works of social theory, history, and ethnography to more recent investigations into historical and contemporary modes of embodiment.
Beyond the Body Proper includes nine sections conceptually organized around themes such as everyday life, sex and gender, and science. Each section is preceded by interpretive commentary by the volume’s editors. Within the collection are articles and book excerpts focused on bodies using tools and participating in rituals, on bodies walking and eating, and on the female circumcision controversy, as well as pieces on medical classifications, spirit possession, the commodification of body parts, in vitro fertilization, and an artist/anatomist’s “plastination” of cadavers for display. Materialist, phenomenological, and feminist perspectives on embodiment appear along with writings on interpretations of pain and the changing meanings of sexual intercourse. Essays on these topics and many others challenge Eurocentric assumptions about the body as they speak to each other and to the most influential contemporary trends in the human sciences.
With selections by: Henry Abelove, Walter Benjamin, Janice Boddy, John Boswell, Judith Butler, Caroline Walker Bynum, Stuart Cosgrove, Michel de Certeau, Gilles Deleuze, Alice Domurat Dreger, Barbara Duden, Friedrich Engels, E. E. Evans-Pritchard, Judith Farquhar, Marcel Granet, Felix Guattari, Ian Hacking, Robert Hertz, Patricia Leyland Kaufert, Arthur Kleinman, Shigehisa Kuriyama, Jean Langford, Bruno Latour, Margaret Lock, Emily Martin, Karl Marx, Marcel Mauss, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Nancy K. Miller, Lisa Jean Moore, John D. O’Neil, Aihwa Ong, Mariella Pandolfi, Susan Pedersen, Gregory M. Pflugfelder, Rayna Rapp, Nancy Scheper-Hughes, Kristofer Schipper, Matthew Schmidt, Peter Stallybrass, Michael Taussig, Charis Thompson, E.P. Thompson, Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, Victor Turner, Terence Turner, Jose van Dijck, Keith Wailoo, Brad Weiss, Allon White
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
In The Body in Late-Capitalist USA, Donald M. Lowe explores the varied social practices that code and construct the body. Arguing that our bodily lives are shaped by a complex of daily and ongoing practices—how we work, what we buy and consume—Lowe contends that as a result of the commodification of these and other social practices in the late-twentieth century, what we often understand to be the needs of the body are in fact means for capital accumulation. Moving beyond studies of representations and images of the body, Lowe focuses on the intersection of body practices, language, and the Social to describe concretely the reality of a lived body. His strongly synthetic work brings together Marxist critique, semiotics, Foucaultian discourse analysis, and systems and communications theory to examine those practices that construct the body under late capitalism: habits of work and consumption, the ways we give birth and raise children, socialization, mental and physical healing, reconstructions and contestations of sexuality and gender. Lowe draws upon a wide range of sources, including government and labor studies and statistics, diagnostic and statistical manuals on mental illness, computer manuals, self-help books, and guides to work-related stress disorders, to illustrate the transformation of the body into a nexus of exchange value in postmodern society.
With the arrival of the transcontinental railroad in the 1880s came the emergence of a modern and profoundly multicultural New Mexico. Native Americans, working-class Mexicans, elite Hispanos, and black and white newcomers all commingled and interacted in the territory in ways that had not been previously possible. But what did it mean to be white in this multiethnic milieu? And how did ideas of sexuality and racial supremacy shape ideas of citizenry and determine who would govern the region?
Coyote Nation considers these questions as it explores how New Mexicans evaluated and categorized racial identities through bodily practices. Where ethnic groups were numerous and—in the wake of miscegenation—often difficult to discern, the ways one dressed, bathed, spoke, gestured, or even stood were largely instrumental in conveying one's race. Even such practices as cutting one's hair, shopping, drinking alcohol, or embalming a deceased loved one could inextricably link a person to a very specific racial identity.
A fascinating history of an extraordinarily plural and polyglot region, Coyote Nation will be of value to historians of race and ethnicity in American culture.
Some historians contend that femininity was "disrupted, constructed and reconstructed" during World War I, but what happened to masculinity? Using the evidence of letters, diaries, and oral histories of members of the military and of civilians, as well as contemporary photographs and government propoganda, Dismembering the Male explores the impact of the First World War on the male body.
Each chapter explores a different facet of the war and masculinity in depth. Joanna Bourke discovers that those who were dismembered and disabled by the war were not viewed as passive or weak, like their civilian counterparts, but were the focus of much government and public sentiment. Those suffering from disease were viewed differently, often finding themselves accused of malingering.
Joanna Bourke argues convincingly that military experiences led to a greater sharing of gender identities between men of different classes and ages. Dismembering the Male concludes that ultimately, attempts to reconstruct a new type of masculinity failed as the threat of another war, and with it the sacrifice of a new generation of men, intensified.
From Harriet Beecher Stowe's image of the Mississippi's "bosom" to Henry David Thoreau's Cape Cod as "the bared and bended arm of Massachusetts," the American environment has been represented in terms of the human body. Exploring such instances of embodiment, Cecelia Tichi exposes the historically varied and often contrary geomorphic expression of a national paradigm.
From the lazy, fiddling grasshopper to the sneaky Big Bad Wolf, children’s stories and fables enchant us with their portrayals of animals who act like people. But the comparisons run both ways, as metaphors, stories, and images—as well as scientific theories—throughout history remind us that humans often act like animals, and that the line separating them is not as clear as we’d like to pretend.
Here Martin Kemp explores a stunning range of images and ideas to demonstrate just how deeply these underappreciated links between humans and other fauna are embedded in our culture. Tracing those interconnections among art, science, and literature, Kemp leads us on a dazzling tour of Western thought, from Aristotelian physiognomy and its influence on phrenology to the Great Chain of Being and Darwinian evolution. We learn about the racist anthropology underlying a familiar Degas sculpture, see paintings of a remarkably simian Judas, and watch Mowgli, the man-child from Kipling’s The Jungle Book, exhibit the behaviors of the beasts who raised him. Like a kaleidoscope, Kemp uses these stories to refract, reconfigure, and echo the essential truth that the way we think about animals inevitably inflects how we think about people, and vice versa.
Loaded with vivid illustrations and drawing on sources from Hesiod to La Fontaine, Leonardo to P. T. Barnum, The Human Animal in Western Art and Science is a fascinating, eye-opening reminder of our deep affinities with our fellow members of the animal kingdom.
The "woman question," this book asserts, is a Western one, and not a proper lens for viewing African society. A work that rethinks gender as a Western construction, The Invention of Women offers a new way of understanding both Yoruban and Western cultures.
Author Oyeronke Oyewumi reveals an ideology of biological determinism at the heart of Western social categories--the idea that biology provides the rationale for organizing the social world. And yet, she writes, the concept of "woman," central to this ideology and to Western gender discourses, simply did not exist in Yorubaland, where the body was not the basis of social roles.
Oyewumi traces the misapplication of Western, body-oriented concepts of gender through the history of gender discourses in Yoruba studies. Her analysis shows the paradoxical nature of two fundamental assumptions of feminist theory: that gender is socially constructed and that the subordination of women is universal. The Invention of Women demonstrates, to the contrary, that gender was not constructed in old Yoruba society, and that social organization was determined by relative age.
A meticulous historical and epistemological account of an African culture on its own terms, this book makes a persuasive argument for a cultural, context-dependent interpretation of social reality. It calls for a reconception of gender discourse and the categories on which such study relies. More than that, the book lays bare the hidden assumptions in the ways these different cultures think. A truly comparative sociology of an African culture and the Western tradition, it will change the way African studies and gender studies proceed.
"OyewÃ¹mi's book is a departure from the majority of feminist writers on Africa. She goes further to show a society almost unintelligible using the common set of presumptions in feminist literature about how society is organized. Her indignation is real and forceful and her research and lucid presentation admirable." Modern African Studies
"Oyewumi's work is an extremely interesting study that forces readers to rethink some of the accepted notions of colonialism." National Women's Studies Association Journal
Oyeronke Oyewumi is assistant professor in the Department of Black Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara
The headlong rush, the rapid montage, the soaring superhero, the plunging roller coaster—Matters of Gravity focuses on the experience of technological spectacle in American popular culture over the past century. In these essays, leading media and cultural theorist Scott Bukatman reveals how popular culture tames the threats posed by technology and urban modernity by immersing people in delirious kinetic environments like those traversed by Plastic Man, Superman, and the careening astronauts of 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Right Stuff. He argues that as advanced technologies have proliferated, popular culture has turned the attendant fear of instability into the thrill of topsy-turvydom, often by presenting images and experiences of weightless escape from controlled space.
Considering theme parks, cyberspace, cinematic special effects, superhero comics, and musical films, Matters of Gravity highlights phenomena that make technology spectacular, permit unfettered flights of fantasy, and free us momentarily from the weight of gravity and history, of past and present. Bukatman delves into the dynamic ways pop culture imagines that apotheosis of modernity: the urban metropolis. He points to two genres, musical films and superhero comics, that turn the city into a unique site of transformative power. Leaping in single bounds from lively descriptions to sharp theoretical insights, Matters of Gravity is a deft, exhilarating celebration of the liberatory effects of popular culture.
The Monster in the Machine tracks the ways in which human beings were defined in contrast to supernatural and demonic creatures during the time of the Scientific Revolution. Zakiya Hanafi recreates scenes of Italian life and culture from the late sixteenth to the early eighteenth centuries to show how monsters were conceptualized at this particular locale and historical juncture—a period when the sacred was being supplanted by a secular, decidedly nonmagical way of looking at the world. Noting that the word “monster” is derived from the Latin for “omen” or “warning,” Hanafi explores the monster’s early identity as a portent or messenger from God. Although monsters have always been considered “whatever we are not,” they gradually were tranformed into mechanical devices when new discoveries in science and medicine revealed the mechanical nature of the human body. In analyzing the historical literature of monstrosity, magic, and museum collections, Hanafi uses contemporary theory and the philosophy of technology to illuminate the timeless significance of the monster theme. She elaborates the association between women and the monstrous in medical literature and sheds new light on the work of Vico—particularly his notion of the conatus—by relating it to Vico’s own health. By explicating obscure and fascinating texts from such disciplines as medicine and poetics, she invites the reader to the piazzas and pulpits of seventeenth-century Naples, where poets, courtiers, and Jesuit preachers used grotesque figures of speech to captivate audiences with their monstrous wit. Drawing from a variety of texts from medicine, moral philosophy, and poetics, Hanafi’s guided tour through this baroque museum of ideas will interest readers in comparative literature, Italian literature, history of ideas, history of science, art history, poetics, women’s studies, and philosophy.
National Abjection explores the vexed relationship between "Asian Americanness" and "Americanness” through a focus on drama and performance art. Karen Shimakawa argues that the forms of Asian Americanness that appear in U.S. culture are a function of national abjection—a process that demands that Americanness be defined by the exclusion of Asian Americans, who are either cast as symbolic foreigners incapable of integration or Americanization or distorted into an “honorary” whiteness. She examines how Asian Americans become culturally visible on and off stage, revealing the ways Asian American theater companies and artists respond to the cultural implications of this abjection.
Shimakawa looks at the origins of Asian American theater, particularly through the memories of some of its pioneers. Her examination of the emergence of Asian American theater companies illuminates their strategies for countering the stereotypes of Asian Americans and the lack of visibility of Asian American performers within the theater world. She shows how some plays—Wakako Yamauchi’s 12-1-A, Frank Chin’s Chickencoop Chinaman, and The Year of the Dragon—have both directly and indirectly addressed the displacement of Asian Americans. She analyzes works attempting to negate the process of abjection—such as the 1988 Broadway production of M. Butterfly as well as Miss Saigon, a mainstream production that enacted the process of cultural displacement both onstage and off. Finally, Shimakawa considers Asian Americanness in the context of globalization by meditating on the work of Ping Chong, particularly his East-West Quartet.
Pain, Death, and the Law
Austin Sarat, Editor University of Michigan Press, 2001 Library of Congress KF9227.C2P35 2001 | Dewey Decimal 345.730773
This collection of essays examines the relationship between pain, death, and the law and addresses the question of how the law constructs pain and death as jurisprudential facts. The empirical focus of these essays enables the reader to delve into both the history and the theoretical complexities of the pain-death-law relationship. The combination of the theoretical and the empirical broadens the contribution this volume will undoubtedly make to debates in which the right to live or die is the core issue at hand.
This volume will be an important read for policy makers and legal practitioners and a valuable text for courses in law, the social sciences, and the humanities.
Austin Sarat is William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science, Amherst College.
Medicine has always been an emotionally and spiritually challenging profession. Today, confronted with the rapid progress of technology, the shifting sands of health care economics, and glaring disparities in health care and human rights, physicians experience challenges that grow constantly more demanding. As a result, many doctors attempt to build into their lives opportunities for reflection and self-awareness. It is in this context that medical poetry has blossomed.Primary Care, the second anthology of physician poems edited by Angela Belli and Jack Coulehan, proves that the poetry movement in medicine continues to flourish. Fifty-two contemporary physician poets contribute one hundred poems that explore medical practice, interpersonal relationships, and the modern world. Their poems record instances of pain and suffering, joy and grief, humor and irony. Their subjects range from caregivers, patients, trainees, and teachers to poverty, injustice, and war throughout the world.In some cases we find the poets in their professional milieu as they reveal interactions with patients and colleagues. Other poems address private worlds and family relationships. In others the poets turn outward and direct their attention to social and global concerns. Characterized by an immense and kind-hearted sympathy for and empathy with those who are suffering, the poets recognize that everyone’s life is diminished by the trauma of illness and death.
Reading The Social Body
Catherine B. Burroughs University of Iowa Press, 1993 Library of Congress GT495.R43 1993 | Dewey Decimal 391.6
The overarching argument of Reading the Social Body is that the body is cultural rather than “natural.” Some of the essays treat the social construction of bodies that have actually existed in human history; others discuss the representation of bodies in artistic contexts; all recognize that everything visible to the human body—from posture and costume to the width of an eyebrow or a smile—is determined by and shaped in response to a particular culture.
Elizabeth Arnold University of Chicago Press, 1998 Library of Congress PS3551.R4846R44 1999 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Elizabeth Arnold's first book of poems documents her struggle with cancer. A book-length sequence of poems, The Reef rockets the reader through a Heraclitean chute of accelerated life experience by way of anecdote, satire, facts from medical science, and lyrical sweep. This multilayered work explores the depths of illness, investigating the way one's attitude toward it changes over time and how one gathers and processes information in order to make sense of it.
"Arnold's poetry, much more mature than most writers' first book, links lyrics, slight narratives, and a bit of satire into a work of glorious affirmation. The book is a splendid read."—Mary Sue Koeppel, Florida Times-Union
"For this commitment to both the autobiographical honesty and aesthetic risk, The Reef should be valuable to anyone who has been waiting for where contemporary American poetry is going."—Agni
With audacious dexterity, David Howes weaves together topics ranging from love and beauty magic in Papua New Guinea to nasal repression in Freudian psychology and from the erasure and recovery of the senses in contemporary ethnography to the specter of the body in Marx. Through this eclectic and penetrating exploration of the relationship between sensory experience and cultural expression, Sensual Relations contests the conventional exclusion of sensuality from intellectual inquiry and reclaims sensation as a fundamental domain of social theory.
David Howes is Professor of Anthropology, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec.
The recipient of the annual Award for Outstanding Book in Theatre Practice and Pedagogy from the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, This Is My Body realigns representational practices in the early Middle Ages with current debates on the nature of representation. Michal Kobialkai's study views the medieval concept of representation as having been in flux and crossed by different modes of seeing, until it was stabilized by the constitutions of the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215. Kobialka argues that the concept of representation in the early Middle Ages had little to do with the tradition that considers representation in terms of Aristotle or Plato; rather, it was enshrined in the interpretation of Hoc est corpus meum [This is my body] -- the words spoken by Christ to the apostles at the Last Supper -- and in establishing the visibility of the body of Christ that had disappeared from view.
Michal Kobialka is Professor in the Department of Theatre Arts and Dance at the University of Minnesota.
In The World Below, Jacques Galinier surveys both traditional Otomí cosmology and colonial and contemporary Catholic rituals to illustrate the complexity of continuity and change in Mesoamerican religious ideology and practice. Galinier explores the problems of historical and family memory, models of space and time, the role of the human habitation in cosmology, shamanism and healing, and much more. He elucidates the way these realities are represented in a series of arresting oppositions - both Otomí oppositions and the duality of indigenous and Catholic ritual life - between the upper and lower human body.
Drawing upon both Freud and theories of the carnivalesque, Galinier argues that the "world below" (the lower half of the body) provides the foundation for an indigenous metapsychology that is at once very close to and very far away from the Freudian conceptual apparatus.