Approximate Bodies. Gender and Power in Early Modern Drama and Anatomy

Maurizio Calbi, Maurizio Calbi

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27 Citazioni (Scopus)


The early modern period was an age of anatomical exploration and revelation, with new discoveries capturing the imagination not only of scientists but also of playwrights and poets. Approximate Bodies examines the changing representation of the body in early modern drama and in the period’s anatomical and gynaecological treatises. The book traces a number of emblematic figurations of the body, which it sees as dramatized and rearticulated in the period’s texts: the eroticized, deformed body of the outsider, for example, or the effeminate body of the desiring male and the disfigured body parts of the desiring female. Drawing on the theories of Foucault, Derrida and Lacan and working through close readings of key plays and treatises, the study examines the way in which social and psychic domains are involved in the early modern construction of the body. Crucially, the book argues that the early modern body is obsessively construed in terms of differentiating markers of power such as gender, race, status and eroticism. At the same time, bodies are presented as unstable and unfinished entities, uncannily proximate to one another. Link to Routledge website with details of the book:
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine168
ISBN (stampa)0-415-34561-8
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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