Bodies of Resistance: New Phenomenologies of Politics, Agency, and Culture

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This collection is both timely and important. It will help establish the necessity of grounding discussions of the body in careful philosophical analyses and go a long way toward reminding us of ways in which phenomenology broke ground and can continue to break ground in exploring the meanings of our embodiment." —Debra Bergoffen, George Mason University
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810118478
  • Publisher: Northwestern University Press
  • Publication date: 12/19/2001
  • Series: Philosophy, Literature, and Culture Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 305
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Laura Doyle is an associate professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her book Bordering on the Body: The Racial Matrix of Modern Fiction and Culture received the George and Barbara Perkins Prize from the Society for the Study of Narrative Literature. She is also the recipient of an ACLS Fellowship and a Rockefeller Fellowship.

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