Corporeal Politics: Violent Uses of the Body in the Present


ACLS Fellowship Program


History of Consciousness


A dizzying range of actions, such as hunger strikes, self-immolations, enforced disappearances, die-ins, and voluntary human shielding practices, has catapulted the body into prominence in political struggles since the 1960s. “Corporeal Politics” brings these different political forms together, focusing especially on those instances in which the body is both the object and the subject of violence directed at itself. Through situated explorations of examples from around the world, the project examines the implications of corporeal politics for democracy, citizenship, and political agency. Offering a materialist lens for politics, the project traces how the body becomes a conduit as much of radical expression and intervention as of political domination. It analyzes how corporeal forms of action unsettle generalizations about the agency of the modern subject from a visceral and affective register.