Embodiment and Agency

Hardcover (Print)
Not Available on BN.com


Themes of embodiment and agency have long been central to feminist philosophical thought and have increasingly led feminists to extend their theorizing to encompass a range of identities shaped by processes of gender, race, class, disability, and sexuality. The intersection of these themes, however, has often been limited to analyzing how specific modes of socialized embodiment can be impediments to agency or autonomy.

Embodiment and Agency is distinctive in bringing a remarkable range of theoretical perspectives and resources to the project in ways that stress possibilities as well as constraints. Contributors utilize, for example, phenomenology, psychoanalysis, care ethics, analytic philosophy, Hegelian critique, and postcolonial theory to examine embodiment and agency in contexts ranging from a child’s struggle to find her own identity to global politics. The volume is integrated through its theme, through an introductory essay situating the contributions in relation to each other and to current feminist theory on agency, and through the structuring of the contents into two distinct sections.

Part I, “Becoming Embodied Subjects,” explores how we become individually and collectively identified subjects through the possibilities for agency that arise from specific modes of embodiment. Part II, “Embodied Relations: Political Contexts,” continues the theme of embodied agency in contemporary sociopolitical contexts. It challenges the reader to reconceptualize the links between embodiment and moral agency in ways adequate to political realities, personal relationships, and collective responsibilities.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780271035222
  • Publisher: Penn State University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2009
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Sue Campbell is Professor of Philosophy and Women’s Studies at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada.

Letitia Meynell is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Dalhousie University.

Susan Sherwin is Professor of Philosophy at Dalhousie University.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents



Introduction: Minding Bodies

Letitia Meynell

Part I: Becoming Embodied Subjects

1. Emotional Metamorphoses: The Role of Others in Becoming a Subject

Kym Maclaren

2. Racial Grief and Melancholic Agency

Angela Failler

3. A Knowing That Resided in My Bones: Sensuous Embodiment and Trans Social Movement

Alexis Shotwell

4. The Phrenological Impulse and the Morphology of Character

Rebecca Kukla

5. Personal Identity, Narrative Integration, and Embodiment

Catriona Mackenzie

6. Bodily Limits to Autonomy: Emotion, Attitude, and Self-Defense

Sylvia Burrow

Part II: Embodied Relations, Political Contexts

7. Relational Existence and Termination of Lives: When Embodiment Precludes Agency

Susan Sherwin

8. A Body No Longer of One’s Own

Monique Lanoix

9. Premature (M)Othering: Levinasian Ethics and the Politics of Fetal Ultrasound Imaging

Jacqueline M. Davies

10. Inside the Frame of the Past: Memory, Diversity, and Solidarity

Sue Campbell

11. Collective Memory or Knowledge of the Past: “Covering Reality with Flowers”

Susan E. Babbitt

12. Agency and Empowerment: Embodied Realities in a Globalized World

Christine Koggel

List of Contributors


Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)