Our Cannibals, Ourselves

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University of Illinois Press, 2004 - Literary Criticism - 172 pages
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Why does Western culture remain fascinated with and saturated by cannibalism? Moving from the idea of the dangerous Other, Priscilla L. Walton's Our Cannibals, Ourselves shows us how modern-day cannibalism has been recaptured as in the vampire story, resurrected into the human blood stream, and mutated into the theory of germs through AIDS, Ebola, and the like. At the same time, it has expanded to encompass the workings of entire economic systems (such as in consumer cannnibalism). Our Cannibals, Ourselves is an interdisciplinary study of cannibalism in contemporary culture. It demonstrates how what we take for today's ordinary culture is imaginatively and historically rooted in very powerful processes of the encounter between our own and different, often threatening, cultures from around the world. Walton shows that the taboo on cannibalism is heavily reinforced only partly out of fear of cannibals themselves; instead, cannibalism is evoked in order to use fear for other purposes, including the sale of fear entertainment. discourses on disease, Our Cannibals, Ourselves provides an all-encompassing, insightful meditation on what happens to popular culture when it goes global.

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About the author (2004)

Priscilla L. Walton is Professor of English at Carleton University, Ottawa. She is the author of "Patriarchal Desire and Victorian Discourse: A Lacanian Reading of Anthony Trollope's Palliser Novels" (1995) and "The Disruption of the Feminine in Henry James" (1992). Manina Jones is Associate Professor of English at the University of Western Ontario. She is the author of "That Art of Difference: 'Documentary-Collage' and English-Canadian Writing" (1993).

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