Friday, 11 May 2012


ISBN-13: 978-0-472-06477-9
Editor: Laurence Goldstein
Title: The Female Body
Subtitle: Figures, Styles, Speculations
Language: English
Place of Publication: Ann Arbor, MI
Publisher: The University of Michigan Press
Year of Publication: 1991
Format: 153x230mm (trimmed)
Illustrations: 81colour and black and white plates, pictures and sketches
Pages: x+317
Binding: Paperback in colour wrappers
Original Price: N/A
Weight: 580gr.
Entry No.: 2012016
Entry Date: 11th May 2012


The female body has been a topic much discussed during the past two decades as scholars have attempted to place the subject in historical and theoretical contexts. Acknowledging the topic’s emergence as a central one in contemporary debates, Laurence Goldstein, editor of the acclaimed Michigan Quarterly Review, invited a group of anthropologists, historians, literary scholars, psychologists, philosophers, sociologists, and art historians, as well as poets, artists, and fiction writers, to provide their reflections.

The range of vantage points is impressive. Carol Gilligan defines how the body, as “a repository of experience and desire” is a source of resistance to complex family and social demands. Ruth Behar, speaking of hysterectomy and abortion, asks whether the female body is nothing more than the pliant subject of “the master narrative of medical science.”

In other writings, Susan Bordo studies the plasticity of the female body in the technological age: Andrea Dworkin portrays the terror of a woman on urban streets; Anne Herrmann considers cross-dressing in society and film. Still other writers examine the presence of the female body in fiction, poetry, and ballroom dance, among other venues. The book also features an essay by art historian Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby, accompanied by a rich portfolio of women artists’ representations of female bodies.

The Female Body synthesizes and extends the previous literature, increasing the possibilities for understanding and experience. General readers and specialists alike will find abundant new information and insights, and much to argue with as well as to agree with, in this engrossing book.

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