The Body in Medical Culture

Edited by Elizabeth Klaver

Subjects: Cultural Studies, Body, The, Medical Sociology, Feminist
Paperback : 9781438425863, 265 pages, April 2009
Hardcover : 9781438425856, 265 pages, April 2009

Table of contents

List of Illustrations
Elizabeth Klaver
1. Home Bodies: Matters of Weight in Renaissance Women's Medical Manuals
Hillary M. Nunn
2. Remapping Maternity in the Courtroom: Female Defenses and Medical Witnesses in Eighteenth-Century Infanticide Proceedings
Sheena Sommers
3. "Surely he cannot be flesh and blood": The Early Victorian Anatomical Museum and the Blackface Minstrel
Stephen Johnson
4. The "Disabled Imagination" and the Masculine Metaphor in the Works of Leonard Kriegel
Hayley Mitchell Haugen
5. Of Genes, Mutations, and Desires in Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis and Moacyr Scliar's The Centaur in the Garden Catalina
Florina Florescu
6. The Post-biological Body: Horror, Nostalgia, and the Visible Human Project
Natalia Lizama
7. Endography: A Physician's Dream of Omniscience
Catherine Belling
8. Designer Vaginas
Alexa A. Priddy and Jennifer L. Croissant
9. (Trans) Gendered Fabrications and the Surgery Debates
Sally Hines
10. On Slanderous Words and Bodies Out-of-Control: Hospital Humor and the Medical Carnivalesque
Lisa Gabbert and Antonio Salud II
11. Dr. Jarvik and Other Baby Boomers: (Still) Performing the Able Body
Linda Seidel
List of Contributors

Engages critically with historical and contemporary representations of the medicalized human body.


2010 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title

How do concepts and constructions of the body shape people's experiences of agency and objectification within medical culture? As an object of scrutiny, the medicalized body occupies center stage in the work of doctors, nurses, medical examiners, and other medical professionals who mediate broader cultural understandings of pathology, illness, and the various physical transformations associated with life and death. The Body in Medical Culture explores how the body functions within medical culture and examines the metaphors and models of the body used to understand medical phenomena, including disease, diagnostic practices, wellness, anatomy, surgery, and medical research. Scholars from a wide range of disciplines engage representations of bodies, including polio and masculinity, sex reassignment surgery, drug marketing, endography, "designer vaginas," and hospital humor in order to challenge the normalcy of the passively objectified medicalized body.

Elizabeth Klaver is Professor of English at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She is the author of Sites of Autopsy in Contemporary Culture, also published by SUNY Press, and Performing Television: Contemporary Drama and the Media Culture and editor of Images of the Corpse: From the Renaissance to Cyberspace.


"…a real page-turner … The articles are well written, sophisticated, and intellectually stimulating." — CHOICE

"One of the most impressive features of this volume is the wide range of disciplines represented throughout … Klaver's collection of essays on the body in medicine is interesting, intelligent, and readable." — H-Disability

"Klaver's collection of essays on the body in medicine is interesting, intelligent, and readable. It is a good, sane take on an important topic in both cultural studies and the medical humanities." — Kathryn Montgomery, author of How Doctors Think: Clinical Judgment and the Practice of Medicine