Defects: Engendering the Modern Body
"Defects" brings together essays on the emergence of the concept of monstrosity in the eighteenth century and the ways it paralleled the emergence of notions of sexual difference. Women, declared a mid-eighteenth-century vindication, have been regarded since Aristotle as deformed amphibious things, "neither more or less than Monsters" (Beauty's Triumph 1758). This alliance of monstrosity with misogyny, along with the definition of sexual difference as aberration, is the starting point for this volume's investigation of monstrosity's cultural work in the eighteenth century and its simultaneous mapping and troubling of the range of differences.
This collection investigates the conceptual and geographical mapping of early modern and Enlightenment ideas of monstrosity onto a range of differences that contested established categories. The essays consider the representations and material dimensions of phenomena as diverse as femininity and disfigurement, the material imagination and monstrous birth, ugliness as an aesthetic category, deafness and theories of sign language, and the exotic, racialized deformed. Collectively, they demonstrate that the emergence of sexual difference is inextricably intertwined with the emergence of a category of the human that is imagined and deformed, monstrous, and ugly. Contributors include Barbara Benedict, Jill Campbell, Elizabeth Heckendorn Cook, Lennard Davis, Helen Deutsch, Robert Jones, Cora Kaplan, Nicholas Mirzoeff, Felicity Nussbaum, Stephen Pender, and Joel Reed.
Helen Deutsch is Professor of English, University of California at Los Angeles. Her most recent book is Resemblance and Disgrace: Alexander Pope and the Deformation of Culture. Felicity Nussbaum is Professor of English, University of California at Los Angeles. Her most recent book is Torrid Zones: Maternity, Sexuality, and Empire in Eighteenth-Century English Narrative.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Fictions of Defect
Dr Johnson Amelia and the Discourse of Disability in the Eighteenth Century
Conversations between the Deaf the Hard of Hearing and Others
Human Exhibition in Early Modern England
Socializing Sexuality and the Monster of 1790
Representing the National Body in EighteenthCentury Ireland
The Case of Dr Johnson
Other editions - View all
appearance argued beauty become birth body Boswell botany called Cambridge century character claims collection concern consider contemporary critics cultural curiosity deaf defect define definition deformity described desire difference disability discourse display distinction early effects eighteenth eighteenth-century England English essay eunuch example exhibition eyes face fact female femininity figure gender hand hearing human identity imagined James John Johnson kind Lady Mary language less letters London look male means mind monsters monstrous moral nature noted novel observation once particular period person Philosophical physical plant poem political portrait present prodigies question references relations remarkable represent Robert Royal Samuel scientific seems sense sexual Smith social Society suggests things tics tion turn ugliness University Press virtue woman women writing York