Breathing Matters: Feminist Intersectional Politics of Vulnerability

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Magdalena Górska, May 16, 2016 - Social Science - 339 pages

Breathing is not a common subject in feminist studies. Breathing Matters introduces this phenomenon as a forceful potentiality for feminist intersec-tional theories, politics, and social and environmental justice.

By analyzing the material and discursive as well as the natural and cultural enactments of breath in black lung disease, phone sex work, and anxieties and panic attacks, Breathing Matters proposes a nonuniver salizing and politicized understanding of embodiment. In this approach, human bodies are conceptualized as agential actors of intersectional poli-tics. Magdalena Górska argues that struggles for breath and for breathable lives are matters of differential forms of political practices in which vulnera-ble and quotidian corpomaterial and corpo-affective actions are constitutive of politics.

Set in the context of feminist poststructuralist and new materialist and postconstructionist debates, Breathing Matters offers a discussion of human embodiment and agency reconfigured in a posthumanist manner. Its interdisciplinary analytical practice demonstrates that breathing is a phenomenon that is important to study from scientific, medical, political, environmental and social perspectives. 


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About the author (2016)

Magdalena Górska is Assistant Professor at the Graduate Gender Program, Department of Media and Culture Studies and at the Institute for Cultural Inquiry (ICON), Utrecht University. 


Magdalena Górska's research focuses on feminist politics of vulnerability. Her book Breathing Matters: Feminist Intersectional Politics of Vulnerability develops a nonuniversalizing and politicized understanding of embodiment where human bodies are conceptualized as agential actors of intersectional politics. Her work offers intersectional and anthropo-situated while posthumanist discussions of human embodiment and agency and focuses on the quotidian bodily and affective practices of living as political matters. She is a founder of the Breathing Matters Network.