Suspended Animation: The Rise of Force-Feeding in Carceral Times


ACLS Fellowship Program


Women's and Gender Studies


When does the medical clinic become a torture center? "Suspended Animation" investigates the long history of medical/carceral institutions invested in social control, and in particular Guantánamo Bay detention camp where since 2002, captives of the “war on terror” have been forcibly fed as punishment for hunger striking. The project considers how the practice of hunger striking contests and reframes the definitions of “living” and “dying” in relation to the technologies of control used to subjugate such as the feeding tube. By situating force-feeding practices at carceral sites in the history of US medical technologies, it shows how the punitive administration of the feeding tube blurs the line between life and non-life, or “suspended animation.” "Suspended Animation" insists that we need to understand the technology of the feeding tube to locate the practice of force-feeding within a genealogy of racialized and gendered subjugation that aims to weaken resistance to carceral technologies.