Cultural History of the Body

Top PDF Cultural History of the Body:

The Cultural History of the Corset and Gendered Body in Social and Literary Landscapes

The Cultural History of the Corset and Gendered Body in Social and Literary Landscapes

New Women were feminist, educated, independent career females in Europe and the United States. Independence was not simply a matter of the mind. It also involved physical changes in activity and dress, as activities such as bicycling, tennis, horse-riding expanded women's ability to engage with a broader more active world. They also paved the way for the militant Suffragettes of the 1900s. The 1870 Education Act allowed women both to vote and to work (Roberts, 2017). The New Woman helped transform woman’s perception of corsetry from rigid forms to a more liberating design yet it was not able to confront with the Victorian legacy completely and was still shaped by the patriarchal sensibilities of its time. The forth-coming decade, known as The Gilded Age (1870s-1900s) in America/ the Edwardian Age (1900s) in England was a period of optimism and prosperity. So, the period emphasized on the “S figure corset”, stressing the once romantic Empire Silhouette that was missing. Contrary with the New Woman corsetry, females in the 1900s were corseted as tightly as they had never been before (Thomas, 2001-2014). It is said that one reason for the restriction of female body through the use of corsetry might be that women liberation movements had peaked so now that women were getting stronger politically, they had to be restricted physically. This idea in a similar way is better explained by the contemporary feminist critic Naomi Wolf (2002) who argues that the more legal and material difficulties women have broken through, the stricter and cruel images of female beauty have come to force women. As women released themselves from the cult of domesticity, the beauty myth took over either with new practices or through the struggle to create a nostalgic past of good old days when women were treated merely as objects (2002, p.10). The “Gibson Girl” was one of those beauty myths focusing on the idealized female identity popular between1890-1910. Originally a caricature created by the American artist Charles Dana Gibson, the “Gibson Girl” was used to satirize the New Woman who was sportive, emancipated and strong (Thomas 2001- 2014). On the other hand, the Gibson Girl was every man’s dream girl, attractive, slender, respectable, perfectly dressed and tightly corseted.
Show more

10 Read more

Inhabiting the border - A Cultural History of Privacy & Photography

Inhabiting the border - A Cultural History of Privacy & Photography

photographs show that when people think that they are unwatched, "their guard is down and the mask is off. People's faces are in naked repose down in the subway" (Department of Photography - The Metropolitan Museum of Art 3). While they are not posing and unaware of the camera people show a wide range of emotions in the short metro ride to their destination. At times they are "curious, bored, amused, despondent, dreamy and dyspeptic" (3). According to James Agee, who has written the introduction to the book Many are called, "the human being is revealed, as matchless as a thumbprint or a snowflake. Each carries in the posture of his body, in his hands, in his face, in the eyes, the signatures of a time and a place in the world upon a creature for whom the name immortal soul is one mild and vulgar metaphor" (MoMa, 1966, 1). It is the purest form of portraiture when one captures a person completely off guard. They did not have time to get in a pose, or correct their hair and facial expression. However Evans himself denies that it is as pure as I described it:
Show more

77 Read more

Theatres of surgery: the cultural pre history of the face transplant

Theatres of surgery: the cultural pre history of the face transplant

more complex, evolving relationship between medical ‘progress’ and cultural production. Rather than seeking to probe the collec- tive unconscious or to reveal universal themes, the second half of this article plots a cultural history of the face transplant through a film that acknowledges but radically refigures the familiar canon of Gothic literature: Georges Franju’s Les Yeux sans Vis- age (Eyes Without a Face, 1959). Franju both exploits and extends the symbolic and aesthetic territory of the modern ‘surgical imaginary’: a term used by the historian Susan Lederer to indi- cate that ‘the body and its parts – organs, tissues, cells, and fluids – possess not just medical and surgical significance, but complex political and cultural meanings as well’ 9 . In her book
Show more

21 Read more

'Memory wrapped round a corpse' : a cultural history of English Hecubas

'Memory wrapped round a corpse' : a cultural history of English Hecubas

Player weep for Hecuba I move to Shakespeare’s Lucrece searching a painting of Troy for ‘means to mourn some newer way’ (1365) and becoming fixated on the face of Hecuba. 33 Thus, chapter three offers a reading of Lucrece alongside a second consideration of Hamlet’s Hecuba, which restores both Hamlet and its Hecuba to the socio-political context of the Renaissance, particularly the cultural trauma left by the Reformation’s radical alteration of English funeral rites. The split from Catholicism, which transformed Purgatory into a Papist delusion, not only outlawed ingrained mourning rituals but also rendered them theologically futile. In this crisis of mourning, tears, prayers and laments for the dead can no longer intercede for a departed soul; to express too much grief in howling or self- flagellation is to insult God’s divine will; the funeral is to be led by (male) religious officials, female family members will weep quietly and, from 1552, the body of the deceased, which will remain unseen outside the church during the funeral service, is not to be touched by the mourners. 34 Female mourning rituals of England’s recent past, rituals that resonate with those practiced by Hecuba and the ancient Greeks, were suddenly re-constructed as barbaric, foreign and Other, as the misguided habits of effeminate Papists and Pagans. As Goodland notes, ‘the Virgin Mary’s mourning over Christ was the most prevalent and resonant cultural symbol of mourning prior to the Reformation and the focus of the most vitriolic assaults by reformers after the eradication of the doctrine of
Show more

383 Read more

Facets of the Cultural History of Mathematics

Facets of the Cultural History of Mathematics

The special character of the Greek view towards mathematics found its expression in Euclid’s Elements. This book has been regarded for more than two millennia as the paradigm of the acquisition and organisation of a body of knowledge. Starting from clear foundations expressed in terms of defini- tions and axioms, the book proceeds to prove proposition after proposition with inexorable logic, in the most economic manner, and with aesthetic per- fection. (Needless to say, the rigorous modern mathematical point of view is slightly more critical, but cum grano salis this statement still holds.)
Show more

24 Read more

America’s Ocean Wilderness: a Cultural History of Twentieth Century Exploration

America’s Ocean Wilderness: a Cultural History of Twentieth Century Exploration

examining Thor Heyerdahl, who jettisoned the technological trappings of modern civilization, and Jacques Cousteau, who fully embraced them. In 1947 Heyerdahl, with five crew members, sailed west from Peru for a 101 days on a balsa log raft. Christened Kon-Tiki, the raft travelled more than 4,300 miles to shores of the Tuamoto Islands to prove Heyerdahl’s hypothesis that the Polynesian islands had been inhabited by people from South America. For Heyerdahl, the journey showed the purifying effects of the sea, particularly in a Cold War world plagued by destructive technology. A return to nature, he believed, would open the doors to peace. ‘Our voyage had united us with nature’, wrote Heyerdahl. ‘We had developed the senses of primitive man. We felt as if the ocean wind and the salt water had washed through body and soul and freed us from the problems that beset civilized man’ (p. 162).
Show more

5 Read more

Cultural Diversities and Human Rights: History, Minorities, Pluralization

Cultural Diversities and Human Rights: History, Minorities, Pluralization

Today the debate on diversity management is taking place within the framework of a Europe divided into state societies with a clearly dominant national, linguistic or religious identity (except in the rare cases in Switzerland, Belgium and Bosnia- Herzegovina), which in turn have created supranational structures on the protection of rights which see European diversity primarily in terms of the state. Using this framework, which is much more homogeneous than the framework from a hundred years ago, the debates on the protection of minorities or traditional groups converge with very unequal demands and strengths, accommodating new identities without a historical tradition on the continent, but comprising a large number of its citizens. In addition, the process of secularization and certain technological advances that are affecting cultural identities built on languages, religions or other cultural elements. The debate on the interpretation of rights in increasingly pluralistic societies, but little historical experience of internal diversity, is what characterizes the regulatory, institutional and doctrinal developments that have taken place in the area in question. The consequence of all this has been a nationalization of rights which need to be redirected towards a process of pluralization.
Show more

31 Read more

California’s Cross: A Cultural History of Pentecostalism, Race, and Agriculture

California’s Cross: A Cultural History of Pentecostalism, Race, and Agriculture

What then is to be made of the quotidian acts of farmworkers? We get a glimpse into subaltern arts by locating the sorts of practices that comprised Apostólico culture. Based on the photographs of church life captured by Apostólico farmworkers in the northern valleys, I suggest that the recovered narratives captured and projected in the photographs introduce a new meaning and novel implications (a la McWilliams) to the history of agriculture in California. They offer a rich archive through which to explore and subsequently compare the crossroads of race, religion, and migration. To begin with a notable and iconic case, I query whether the photographs of Dorothea Lange were any more truth-telling than lower-grade photographs of Pentecostals breaking ground for a new temple? The latter point to inequitable access to resources. While Okies relied on state and federal assistance, Mexican Pentecostals expanded their network of churches, planted new obras, 19 constructed new temples, decorated those temples and radically reinterpreted the landscape. What then may be made of the everyday lives of farmworkers is by and large a matter of where spectators and researchers focused (and focus) their lens, literally and figuratively.
Show more

278 Read more

Tosca’s Prism: Three Moments in Western Cultural History

Tosca’s Prism: Three Moments in Western Cultural History

The numerous contributors reflect international and disciplinary diversity, with writers specializing in history, poetic and dramatic literature, musicology, music theory, and perform- ance. The essays unveil new insights about sources, reexamine Puccini’s dramaturgical and musical aesthetics, link music theory and compositional practice, debunk current performance practices, elaborate on the relation between opera and its audience, address the role of the libret- tists, confront religion and anticlericalism in turn-of-the-century Italy, and more. In short, the collection offers an interdisciplinary perspective that contributes to a deeper understanding and greater appreciation of Tosca.
Show more

12 Read more

Cultural and Linguistic Avatars of a Monstrous Creature. History of the Bat

Cultural and Linguistic Avatars of a Monstrous Creature. History of the Bat

Abstract: The most important goal of this article is the analysis and interpretation of a representative corpus of Romanian texts (from the 17th century to the 18th century), in order to establish how the imaginary apparitions that give shape to medieval and post medieval cultural anxieties. In ancient times monsters are mentioned equally in the Bible, in the works of the Church Fathers and in the so-called popular texts, being a structural part of specific topoi, which enjoyed a large circulation in the European culture and in the Romanian one through various sources. In the case of the bat, monstrosity is bound up with questions of deformity and hybridity. We aim to tackle from a cognitive perspective the attitudes towards the monsters considered as signs of vices or virtues.
Show more

32 Read more

Traditional Knowledge of Sankardev Than: A Cultural History Paradigm

Traditional Knowledge of Sankardev Than: A Cultural History Paradigm

Traditional knowledge focuses to the thought, originality and practices of indigenous and local communities. Generally, traditional knowledge is spreaded orally from generation to generation. India has its prosperous heritage of traditional knowledge passed on between generations in the course of folklore and orally. Assam has also its distinctiveness to protect and conserve the rich cultural heritage.

5 Read more

'Black Athena' and Africa's contribution to global cultural history

'Black Athena' and Africa's contribution to global cultural history

Asia and North East Africa, and of the con~imction, in recent centuries, of the Greek miracle as a Eurocentric, racialist myth: the appropriation and application of [r]

44 Read more

Cultural Anthropology and History at the Royal Museum for Central Africa.

Cultural Anthropology and History at the Royal Museum for Central Africa.

Culture and Society: research on African people and people of African descent inside and outside the African continent with focus on Central Africa. Selected topics:[r]

22 Read more

Coming off drugs: A critical history of the withdrawing body

Coming off drugs: A critical history of the withdrawing body

psychoactive drugs causes the neurocircuitry of the brain to adapt and change in order to restore normal functioning. Moreover, within this thought style the language of drug withdrawal is gradually being replaced by new terms such as “negative emotional state” (Koob, 2015, p. 76). This new language shifts the emphasis from the externally visible markers on the withdrawing body to the internally visible markers in the neurochemistry and systems of the brain (Koob & Simon, 2009). To put this point another way, the problem of, and explanation for, withdrawal are increasingly becoming associated with what Rose (2007) has aptly called the “neurochemical self”. This problematisation of withdrawal as an adaptation in neurobiological systems is a long way from the notion of opium leaving the body on its own accord or it being abruptly withdrawn from the poisoned body. In fact, this new description of the process of heroin leaving the body opens up alternative rationalities and techniques for acting upon the body of the user as well as marginalizing existing techniques. The negative emotional state hypothesized to be linked with the lack of access to drugs has been used to explain the act of continued drug taking and the problem of relapse. In this model of addiction, the reinforcement of this negative emotional state can take the temporal forms of acute and protracted withdrawal. In other words, researchers claim that this negative emotional state can be produced in the brain of the dependent drug user when access to a drug is denied and over an extended period of time after this event. This temporality of withdrawal resonates with the
Show more

29 Read more

Rewriting the aging body: literacy, technology, and history

Rewriting the aging body: literacy, technology, and history

Andrus’s role in the founding of AARP was crucial, but her efforts to construct a curriculum of aging were undermined from the first since, as Schurenberg and Luciano pointed out in a 1987 report, “AARP the advocate and AARP the salesman are both firmly embedded in the association’s origins.” Although not appearing in AARP’s current accounts of its own history, insurance salesman Leonard Davis had as much—if not more—influence on the establishment of the group as Andrus did. Davis, who set up a wildly successful by-mail health insurance plan for the NRTA, invested $50,000 to establish AARP, with most of this investment going toward establishing Modern Maturity, which advertised Davis’s insurance among the pages of Andrus’s editorial re-education of American elderhood (Morris 24). While the ability to obtain health insurance was much needed prior to the Social Security Act of 1965, AARP’s insurance dealings and healthcare-related lobbying has landed the organization in hot water more than once. 8 The group continues to serve as a scapegoat in political debates, often stirring up implicit or explicit “greedy geezer” accusations, particularly in regard to health care policies and costs. 9
Show more

212 Read more

Book reviews: A new history of yachting; Skiing into modernity: a cultural and environmental history

Book reviews: A new history of yachting; Skiing into modernity: a cultural and environmental history

The irst part of his book shows how and why skiing took root in the Alps. It had its origins in Norway and the Scandinavian counties and was irst introduced into those Alpine resorts already catering for summer visitors. Encouraged by hoteliers and rail companies from the later 1880s up to 1914, the main adapters were German-speaking and English skiers, while Italians and French were slower to take up the sport. The technical adaptations, such as diferent bindings and new or reservoirs and has been largely un-researched in the past. In general, Bender does well here, though surprisingly there is no mention of what was probably the most elite northern English example, the Royal Windermere Yacht Club in Cumbria, founded in 1860 and given royal warrant in 1887. Despite its length this is a very readable book, with an extensive bibliography. The foot- notes are a delight. Overall, this is likely to remain a standard text on yachting for years to come. Yachting has hitherto lacked a more rigorous academic book-length study and relatively few shorter studies. By contrast, skiing has been attracting historians of sport for several decades, with books by leading authors like J.B. Allen and a number of scholarly journal articles. But Denning ofers a sophisticated, novel and more cultural approach to skiing’s history, informed by a wide range of sociological and literary theory, including John Urry’s studies of the consumption of place and tourist gaze, Denis Cosgrove’s work on cultural symbolic landscapes and Doug Brown’s
Show more

5 Read more

Temperature, Body Size and Life History in Drosophila melanogaster

Temperature, Body Size and Life History in Drosophila melanogaster

comparison between the continents, and thereby permits investigation o f the adaptive nature o f the clines. Variation along latitudinal clines for body size, development time, egg size and ovariole number have all been unambiguously observed along clines o f Drosophila melanogaster in different continents. The observed variation along clines persists when laboratory studies are carried out, rearing lines from different latitudes in a common environment, implying that the variation is genetic in nature, rather than due to environmental cues. The fact that similar genetic clines for these phenotypic characters are observed in different continents implies that the observed clinal variation is due to adaptation to their environment, rather than simply genetic drift. This observation has been confirmed by Gockel et al. 2001 in a study which investigated whether there was a correlation between phenotypic variation and presumably neutral molecular variation, in an east Australian cline o f Drosophila melanogaster. This study found no such correlation, and hence strongly suggested that the observed phenotypic variation was shaped by selection pressure.
Show more

163 Read more

The Spectral Arctic: a Cultural History of Ghosts and Dreams in Polar Exploration

The Spectral Arctic: a Cultural History of Ghosts and Dreams in Polar Exploration

Instead of stories of isolation and emptiness, McCorristine excavates stories that connected the Arctic to ‘home’, explorers to Inuit. Chapter two, ‘Spectral geographies of the Arctic’, draws those connections by looking at how the explorer observed and moved through the Arctic landscape, whether by ship, on foot, or in dreams. Drawing from private journals, this chapter effectively conjures up an Arctic in which to wander, to grave-dig, or to gather geographical information were strange actions, ingested with ‘dreaminess and reverie’ (p. 78), and taking place within a geography that was simultaneously material and spectral. At this point it would have been useful to situate the explorers’ dreamy travels and travails more explicitly within scholarship that links the supernatural to mental states, as Carlo Ginzburg did with shamanism in Storia Notturna (Turin, 1989. Translated as Ecstasies (London, 1990)[7] [8]) and, more recently, work that has considered alternative and ‘interim’ states of consciousness in colonial settings.[8] [9] The Arctic, then, did not solely exist in Britain as a space in which to project otherness. As well as outlining what was known and imagined—the cultural production of the ‘Arctic’—the book also establishes how that knowledge was distributed, curated, and controlled within a knowledge hierarchy.
Show more

7 Read more

Skin, paper, tiles: a cross cultural history of Kadiwéu art

Skin, paper, tiles: a cross cultural history of Kadiwéu art

20 Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin, set themselves a formidable challenge. They aimed to design an exhibition with ethnological content that was not only about the Kadiwéu’s past, but also showed the extent to which their ethnic presence was significantly associated with the past. The exhibition relied on their familiarity with the museum collection of Kadiwéu artefacts gained while assisting curator Anita Hermannstädter in her work for an exhibition on German travellers to Brazil (organized with the Brazilian Cultural Institute in Germany – ICBRA; Hermannstädter, 2002), as well as the knowledge obtained during a visit to the Yellow Quarter guided by the architect Pedro Moreira.
Show more

41 Read more

'Diplomacy as theatre': recasting the Bandung conference of 1955 as cultural history

'Diplomacy as theatre': recasting the Bandung conference of 1955 as cultural history

The first point to be made is that the Bandung Conference is significant because it actually took place. What do I mean by this? An event can be meaningful by the very act of staging it, because it confers symbolic meaning. The most obvious case of this type of event is royal pageantry, particularly the crowning ceremony, which is entirely symbolic in nature. It is the process of pageantry or the ‘performance’ of pageantry itself that is meaningful because it lends legitimacy not only to the ‘actor’ but through the participation of the ‘audience’ to the whole event. Similarly, we can explain the symbolic meaning of the Bandung Conference as a collective ‘crowning ceremony’ or ‘inauguration ceremony’ of post-colonial Asia and Africa, represented by the twenty-nine delegations which, in turn, represented some 1400 million people worldwide. It is this collective force that made the event itself iconic, as a ‘decisive moment’ of the twentieth-century. Hence, the Bandung Conference was the greatest diplomatic pageantry performed entirely and solely by Asian and African states; and to that extent, it stands out as a unique diplomatic event in world history. Notwithstanding the agenda of individual participating states, often conflicting and contentious, the fact of their attendance and of their determination to conclude it on a positive note, underlines the collective recognition of what was really at stake – namely to assert ‘Afro-Asian solidarity’ at a historic moment. This diplomatic performance lent legitimacy symbolically to the twenty-nine participating states as a new collective ‘actor’ in international relations. What is striking about Bandung is that it was an act of confident assertion vis-à-vis the ruling elite of international society, and not a passive act of seeking acceptance. 8 Symbolically, not a single ‘white’ or ‘Western’ state
Show more

19 Read more

Show all 10000 documents...