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The Body Aesthetic: From Fine Art to Body Modification
     

The Body Aesthetic: From Fine Art to Body Modification

by Tobin Anthony Siebers
 

ISBN-10: 047211123X

ISBN-13: 9780472111237

Pub. Date: 10/26/2000

Publisher: University of Michigan Press

The last thirty years of cultural theory have seen a vigorous analytic focus on the human body both as the subject of cultural representations and as an escape from their repressive influence. Rare is the account that focuses on the most obvious fact about the body: it is the stuff out of which human beings are made.

Generously and variously illustrated, this

Overview

The last thirty years of cultural theory have seen a vigorous analytic focus on the human body both as the subject of cultural representations and as an escape from their repressive influence. Rare is the account that focuses on the most obvious fact about the body: it is the stuff out of which human beings are made.

Generously and variously illustrated, this volume gathers together the work of literary critics and artists, classicists, art historians, and specialists on the history of the body, who survey the strangeness and variety with which the body has given human beings form. Richard Leppert traces how the representation of little girls responds directly to the cultural anxieties of modernity. René Girard plots how starvation becomes an art form, while Eric Gans surveys the contemporary phenomenon of body modification. Sander Gilman explores aesthetic surgery as a response to human unhappiness. Simon Goldhill discovers in the Roman empire the initial stirrings of institutions that focus on the spectacle of the body, and Cynthia S. Greig provides a glimpse of what the history of photography would look like if male nudes replaced female ones. Marion Jackson details how the different physical existence of the Inuit guides the way they make art. Joseph Grigely transforms aesthetics as usual by focusing on the disabled body, while Tobin Siebers describes the traumatic appeal in both fine art and the media of wounded flesh, whether human or animal.

The Body Aesthetic is a broad exercise in cultural studies and will address a variety of readers, from those interested in detailed, theoretical accounts of the body, to those interested in belles lettres, to those interested in fine art.

About the Author:

Tobin Siebers is Professor of English, University of Michigan.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780472111237
Publisher:
University of Michigan Press
Publication date:
10/26/2000
Series:
RATIO: Institute for the Humanities
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.46(w) x 9.55(h) x 0.98(d)

Table of Contents

Contents

Introduction: Defining the Body Aesthetic Tobin Siebers....................1
Joseph Grigely Postcards to Sophie Calle....................17
Simon Goldhill Viewing and the Viewer: Empire and the Culture of Spectacle....................41
Richard Leppert Representing Girls: Modernity, Cultural Anxiety, and the Imaginary....................75
Marion Jackson Where "Sleeps" Are a Measure of Miles: Physical Conceptions of Space and Time in Inuit Art....................107
Cynthia S. Greig The Bride Wore Trousers: The Life and Photographs of Isabelle Raymond....................127
Eric Gans The Body Sacrificial....................159
Réne Girard Hunger Artists: Eating Disorders and Mimetic Desire....................179
Sander L. Gilman Imagined Ugliness: A History of the Psychiatric Response to Aesthetic Surgery....................199
Tobin Siebers The New Art....................217
Contributors....................243

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