The Visible Woman: Imaging Technologies, Gender, and Science

Overview

Hand in hand with such health crises as HIV/AIDS, breast cancer, and the resurgence of tuberculosis has come an explosion of scientific and medical technologies. As technology documents illness with ever greater precision and clarity, the knowledge and vocabulary of patients is being similarly expanded by activists, consumer advocates, and artists working with new electronic technologies.

Into this breach steps The Visible Woman, collecting professional, academic, and lay ...

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Overview

Hand in hand with such health crises as HIV/AIDS, breast cancer, and the resurgence of tuberculosis has come an explosion of scientific and medical technologies. As technology documents illness with ever greater precision and clarity, the knowledge and vocabulary of patients is being similarly expanded by activists, consumer advocates, and artists working with new electronic technologies.

Into this breach steps The Visible Woman, collecting professional, academic, and lay viewpoints on gender and the role of visual and textual representation in contemporary health and science. From fetal photography and mammography to mental retardation and chronic fatigue syndrome, The Visible Woman reveals how identities are constructed in medical research and public health initiatives, as well as in popular press accounts of health. New ways of seeing the body, through medical imaging, plastic and sexual surgery, and services for people with disabilities, are all informed, the book argues, by a broader cultural fascination with visuality and media.

Emphasizing the authors' first-hand experiences as medical practitioners, activists, scholars, and patients, The Visible Woman breaks with more established approaches that cast patients as passive objects of medical inquiry, and medical professionals as perpetrators of institutional exploitation in the name of the public good. Asking what it means to be on both ends of the microscope, The Visible Woman highlights the complex perspectives of medical and scientific practitioners who themselves exist both inside and outside their workplaces and professional identities.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Professional, academic, activists, and patients provide 13 views of gender and the role of visual and textual representation of the human body in general and of women in particular in contemporary health and science. Among their topics are fetal photography, mammography, mental retardation, chronic fatigue syndrome, venereal diseases, abortion, living on disability in the wake of the ADA, and the immune system and the global economics of food. Lightly illustrated in black and white. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
From the Publisher
". . . this volume has much to offer readers interested in science and technology and constructs of the body, expecially the 'normal' body."

-Disabilities Studies Quarterly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814715680
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/1998
  • Pages: 408
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Paula Treichler is Professor of Medicine, Communication, and Women's Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is the author of the forthcoming book How to Have Theory in an Epidemic.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Paradoxes of Visibility 1
1 A Cultural Anatomy of the Visible Human Project 21
2 The End of the Road
Gender, the Dissemination of Knowledge, and the American Campaign against Venereal Disease during World War I 44
3 Maybe Next Year
Feminist Silence and the AIDS Epidemic 83
4 Beyond "The Yentl Syndrome"
Making Women Visible in Post-1990 Women's Health Discourse 130
5 Shooting the Mother
Fetal Photography and the Politics of Disappearance 171
6 Fetal Exposures
Abortion Politics and the Optics of Allusion 198
7 Mothers and Authors
Johnson v. Calvert and the New Children of Our Imaginations 217
8 "Lasers for Ladies"
Endo Discourse and the Inscription of Science 240
9 Living on Disability
Language and Social Policy in the Wake of the ADA 273
10 The Empire Strikes Back
A Posttransexual Manifesto 285
11 Beating the Meat/Surviving the Text, or How to Get out of This Century Alive 310
12 Corporeal Flows
The Immune System, Global Economies of Food, and New Implications for Health 321
13 Tales from the Crypt
Contamination and Quarantine in Todd Haynes's [Safe] 360
Contributors 389
Index 393
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