Body Parts: Critical Explorations in Corporeality
Christopher E. Forth, Ivan Crozier
Lexington Books, 2005 - History - 273 pages
In many forms of discourse, specific parts of the human anatomy may signify, or act as a substitute for, the whole body/person: the presence of a large gut may render a man effeminate or represent someone who has lost control of his appetites; visible muscles indicate strength of body, but also constitution or will; a hard penis indicates a male body in a state of perfection. In this volume, scholars from a variety of historical and cultural studies disciplines examine scientific, medical, popular, and literary texts, paying special attention to the different strategies employed in order to establish authority over the body through the management of a single part. By considering body parts that are usually ignored by scholars - the skin, blood, the pelvis, the hair - the essays in this volume render the idea of a single, coherent body untenable by demonstrating that the body is not a transhistorical entity, but rather, deeply fragmented and fundamentally situated in a number of different contexts.
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