Bodily Integrity special issue of Body & Society, issue 16(3), 2010.

Blackman, Lisa, ed. 2010. Bodily Integrity special issue of Body & Society, issue 16(3), 2010., Body & Society, 16(3). 1357-034X [Edited Journal]

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Abstract or Description

This special issue is a de facto collection of articles submitted to the journal that
all engage in different ways with the themes of bodily integrity, bodily incor-
porations and the ways in which the materiality of bodies, both psychic and mor-
phological, are extended and multiplied through their structural coupling with technologies, environments and human and non-human others. The articles in different ways challenge the idea of bodies as discrete entities, clearly bounded and differentiated such that we know what is inside and what is outside, what is self and what is other, what is natural and what is cultural, and what is ‘pure experience’ and what is mediated. The articles consider the forms of embodiment that are lived and produced through the circuits of exchange, transfer, extension and incorporation made possible by transplantation (specifically organs such as
the kidney and increasingly ‘body-parts’ such as the hand); the history of the development of prosthetics in Weimar Germany, which can be read alongside a first-person account of leg amputation and the incorporation of a prosthetic limb; and phenomena such as microchimerism that show evidence
of bi-directional maternal–fetal cell transfer and traffic. As Catherine Waldby has convincingly shown, despite biomedicine increasingly approaching the body as a collection of ‘detachable things’ (blood, organs, bone marrow, sperm, ova, hands, faces, etc.), ‘human tissues are not impersonal’ (2002: 239). Although increasingly we witness the commodification of tissue (human and animal)
within the biotech industries, where organs and tissues can more easily travel across the globe (Scheper-Hughes, 2001), the relative ease of tissue-transfer at a technical level elides the more complex processes of incorporation that register
on many levels: immunological, psychical, social and so forth. The histories of the technologies that make certain forms of transfer possible (prosthetics and transplant technologies for example), are mirrored by the imperative to engage
with the body-as-it-is-lived, extended and modified through such practices. This issue brings together phenomenological reflection on such bodily matters with an engagement with the history of a specific body-technology, prosthetics, in
Weimar Germany. The temporality of the history of the development of body-technologies such as prosthetics, is also complemented by an emergent phenomenon, microchimerism, which has the potential to revolutionize immunology and other forms of medicine.

Item Type:

Edited Journal

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


September 2010

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Date Deposited:

02 Mar 2016 11:04

Last Modified:

27 Jun 2017 13:42


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