Download Bodily Natures: Science, Environment, and the Material Self by Stacy Alaimo PDF

By Stacy Alaimo

How will we comprehend the employer and importance of fabric forces and their interface with human our bodies? What does it suggest to be human in those instances, with our bodies which are inextricably interconnected with our actual international? physically Natures considers those questions via grappling with robust and pervasive fabric forces and their more and more damaging results at the human physique. Drawing on feminist thought, environmental experiences, and the sciences, Stacy Alaimo specializes in trans-corporeality, or flow throughout our bodies and nature, which has profoundly altered our experience of self. by way of taking a look at a huge variety of inventive and philosophical writings, Alaimo illuminates how technological know-how, politics, and tradition collide, whereas contemplating the closeness of the human physique to the surroundings.

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This disturbing sense of trans-corporeality is a universe apart from the glib call of the Susan G. ” (Susan G. Komen for the Cure website). The women in the photographs on the Komen website are inexplicably happy, perhaps because “awareness” is a comforting, mental, even ethereal, state; it is magical thinking to protect us from harm. Being aware of breast cancer will not, however, do anything to end it, especially since the actual content of this awareness is vague, at best, and blatantly ignores the role that toxicants in food, air, water, cosmetics, and other consumer products play in causing cancer.

This cultural landscape has fostered a new genre of autobiography— what I’m calling the material memoir. The strange, disturbing memoirs of Audre Lorde, Candida Lawrence, Zillah Eisenstein, Susanne Antonetta, and Sandra Steingraber dramatize life in risk society by showing how profoundly the sense of selfhood is transformed by the recognition that the very substance of the self is interconnected with vast biological, economic, and industrial systems that can never be entirely mapped or understood.

Their work manifests conceptions of “environmental justice,” avant la lettre, exposing the relations among nature, capitalism, and the working class. While Rukeyser writes a poem of material documentation, Le Sueur resists the authoritative forces and institutions that would test, measure, and manage the body of the worker, moving instead toward an erotic connection between worker and world. Remarkably, both writers attempt to write bodies and natures in ways that emphasize their palpable interrelations; in so doing, they forge a sense of environment that counters the early twentieth-century conservationist and preservationist models of nature as a world apart.

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