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Bodies of Writing, Bodies in Performance

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What do narratives by British suffragettes of being forcibly fed have in common with the representation of indigenous women in Canadian police archives? How are literary representations of domestic violence related to the use of silence as a strategy of resistance in African American women's writing? How are modernist fictions of gay male desire connected with ambiguous sexual performances in rock music or with images of Vietnam veterans in American horror movies? What does a narrative of women's participation in Bengali national resistance movements share with an ethnographic study of prostitution in Papua New Guinea? These are the some of the specific questions raised by the essays in this volume, which examines a wide variety of historical and cultural locations where differently sexed, gendered, and racialized bodies have been constructed. More generally, this volume addresses theoretical debates over whether embodiment is best understood through representations or performances. Are bodies written or enacted? The different answers to these questions have important consequences for how we understand the inscription of bodies with systems of power and the possibilities that exist for resisting those systems. Hide synopsis

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