Reading Cultural Representations of the Body in Virginia Woolf's Novels

Autor: Carmen Raluca Nitu

Cod: 145

ISBN: 978-606-14-0723-1

Editura: Editura Universitaria

Data aparitiei: Iulie 2013

Colectia: In afara colectiilor

Pagini: 248

Format: A5

Disponibilitate: Nu este pe stoc

26,00 lei

“There is an obvious and prominent fact about human beings: they have bodies and they are bodies. More lucidly, human beings are embodied.” This is how Bryan S. Turner began his “Introduction” to the first edition of The Body and Society; it was 1984, a time when (as he argues later, in his 1993 “Introduction” to the second edition) there was “little interest in mainstream social sciences and humanities in the sociology of the body” But starting with the early 1990s things have radically changed: there has been an explosion of interest in the study of the human body within all areas of human sciences: sociology, anthropology, historical studies, feminist studies, gender studies, cultural studies, and, more recently, literary studies. The increasing interest in the study of the human body is attested by the great number of recent books, PhD theses, conference papers and journal articles focusing on this topic. There are cultural journals dedicated exclusively to the study of the human body; there are international conferences hosting discussions on this topic; there are summer seminars on embodiment; there are university research groups and graduate/postgraduate courses which are trying to analyse classical and contemporary representations of the human body. There is also an increasing number of books analysing the human body as a cultural construct, be they in the area of sociology, anthropology, feminist studies, gender studies, historical studies, cultural studies or literary studies. “From women’s clothing fashions that continually seek new ways to exhibit flesh to a veritable explosion of both popular and academic writing on the body, the body is increasingly identified as central to our sense of agency as well as a distinctive cultural artefact in its own right” Starting with the last decades of the twentieth century all humanistic areas of scholarship have approached the human body as no longer an invariant across history and culture (as it was considered by most Western European canonical philosophers for many centuries), but as a social, historical, cultural and political construct. From being considered a worthless object, a carrier of one’s mind, a carcass, a simple vehicle for human intelligence, the body has turned now into an essential part of human subjectivity. It is represented as having value and meaning in itself; it is thought to play an important role in the process of understanding and evaluating the self within the public arena. The central place that it occupies now within human subjectivity may be accounted for by the fact that we live in what Bryan Turner calls a “somatic society”, i.e. a “society within which major political and personal issues are problematized in the body and expressed through it”

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