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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: New Phenomenologies of Politics, Agency, and Culture 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.
Recent theory in the humanities and social sciences has cultivated a sophisticated understanding of the deep structures of cultural forces, how our ways of seeing as well as gesturing, dressing, speaking, and silencing shape a "style" of being in the world. The essays in this volume add further nuance to this understanding. But, more fundamentally, they address a prior ontological question: What is this "being" that is styled? And what is this embodied, performing subject that can initiate a resistant encounter with social scripts, whether in prisons, in musical performances, in discourse, or perhaps even in utero? These essays describe this resistance in creative phenomenological terms so as to extend our conceptions of how agency unfolds from and through the body or bodies. As such, this collection of onto-political meditations will provoke fresh thinking among a wide range of writers and teachers in the social sciences and humanities.