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Death investigation was a central aspect of forensic medicine. However, doctors struggled with uncertainty in defining and evaluating signs of death, at the same time as popular fears of premature burial abounded. Moreover, they faced considerable difficulties in distinguishing between homicides, suicides, and natural or accidental deaths and in determining the cause of death. Anxiety about insufficiently trained and incompetent practitioners who performed medicolegal duties that exceeded the limits of their knowledge and skills fueled demands for medicolegal reform. As medicolegal expertise played a more and more decisive role in criminal investigations and prosecutions, flawed forensic expertise became an increasingly salient problem that sparked ongoing debates about possible structural solutions.
Chapter 7 presents the third of the three case studies: Killing the Individual Human Being via Drones. Here I look at targeted killings and the growing use of drones in this practice. The chapter offers a detailed discussion of the predominantly legal and ethical debate. In doing so, the chapter demonstrates the relevance of an analysis guided by insights from IR theory. But it also discusses legal questions concerning International Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law. The case study engages in detail with the general discourse on drone strikes and targeted killings and provides an in-depth analysis of specific strike types and drone strikes. The analysis demonstrates how the individual human being appears as an innocent civilian who should not be killed (if possible) or as a guilty terrorist who should be killed.
Chapter 1 spans the first decade of Cuban independence and explores the juxtaposition of “modern” concerns like hygiene and ancient concerns like honor and proper behavior. At the turn of the century, domestic workers’ physical bodies were subjects of scrutiny and avatars for early republican anxieties. Wet-nursing in particular was a hugely important topic as high infant mortality rates plagued the island. The Cuban government’s focus on literal hygiene and the figurative hygiene of the new republic regularly resulted in a hostile fixation on working-class women’s bodies and movements. The chapter examines the connections between domestic service and prostitution and uses court cases to demonstrate the physical vulnerability of African-descended women and girls both before and after slavery’s end in Cuba.
Increasing quantities of information about our health, bodies, and biological relationships are being generated by health technologies, research, and surveillance. This escalation presents challenges to us all when it comes to deciding how to manage this information and what should be disclosed to the very people it describes. This book establishes the ethical imperative to take seriously the potential impacts on our identities of encountering bioinformation about ourselves. Emily Postan argues that identity interests in accessing personal bioinformation are currently under-protected in law and often linked to problematic bio-essentialist assumptions. Drawing on a picture of identity constructed through embodied self-narratives, and examples of people's encounters with diverse kinds of information, Postan addresses these gaps. This book provides a robust account of the source, scope, and ethical significance of our identity-related interests in accessing – and not accessing – bioinformation about ourselves, and the need for disclosure practices to respond appropriately. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.
This chapter begins with surveyors Alexander and James Gerard, and their attempts to prove that they had climbed higher than Alexander von Humboldt. In examining the measuring practices of East India Company surveyors, the chapter especially deals with moments when scientific instruments were found to be inadequate. These are revealing of the importance instruments played in establishing scientific authority in a world in which the senses were unreliable. This chapter firstly considers responses to damaged instruments, and attempts at repair. This is followed by a discussion of surveyors’ fieldbooks and inscriptive practices. It concludes with an examination of ongoing problems – both conceptual and material – with instruments designed in Europe by those with no experience of the Himalaya. The chapter argues that the staggered recognition of the true scale of the Himalaya reveals multiple levels of displacement in scientific practice: between those in the mountains, those in Calcutta and those in London. In so doing, it emphasises the laboriousness of the instrumental measurements necessary to impose, if incompletely, a form of universality that made global comparisons possible.
Altitude sickness was little understood in the early nineteenth century, and the inconsistency of symptoms led some to doubt a constant cause. This led to tensions when European travellers were forced to compare their bodily performance against their South Asian companions. This chapter begins by contextualising altitude sickness in relation to lowland colonial anxieties around health, acclimatisation and air. Next is a discussion of indigenous understandings of altitude and a consideration of the ways the performances of bodies were recorded in travel narratives. Finally, the chapter considers experimental approaches around quantification. The chapter argues that there was a politics of comparison that developed around altitude sickness at multiple scales: in the way bodies, European and South Asian, experienced altitude sickness; in the way comparisons affected interactions within expedition parties; in the way these were represented in written accounts to avoid upsetting supposed superiority; and in the way these ultimately constituted high mountains as aberrant environments in relation to lowland norms.
This chapter focuses on how two involuntary (and often invisible) physical responses, blanching and blushing, are performed and narrated on the early modern stage, asking who describes bodies, whose bodies are described, and what is at stake in the act of description. Whipday explores how blanching and blushing intersects with early modern hierarchies of gender, class, family, and race, especially as mediated by the (white) body of the (boy) actor in ‘blushface’ and blackface performances of femininity. In so doing, she examines narrated bodily responses as dramaturgical devices for negotiating relationships between the physicality of character and performer; between performer and audience in the audience’s engagement with the world of the play as mapped onto the simultaneously real and imagined body of the actor; and, between onstage characters within hierarchical familial, domestic, and service relationships.
The common law takes a bounded approach to persons and objects: something is either a person (subject) or a thing (object), but not both. This conceptualisation of persons as bounded selves and objects as separate from persons represents an encumbrance that goes to the very heart of law. The person–thing binary is so fundamental that it both structures the law conceptually and dictates its practical applications. This chapter explores the consequences of this legacy in relation to ‘everyday cyborgs’ – that is, persons with attached and implanted medical devices. Drawing on Graeme Laurie’s work, it argues that recognising the inherent liminality of everyday cyborgs (and everyday cyborg technologies) allows us to look beyond law’s binaries more fully to account for the ‘spaces in-between’. The chapter finds that Laurie’s liminal analysis of law and his framework for processual regulation give us much needed analytical tools to begin to look beyond boundaries, beyond binaries and beyond bodies.
The study begins with the formation mechanisms of a social group that were created almost ex nihilo by the war. Men became disabled by suffering an irremediable loss over the course of three conflicts of varying intensity between 1904 and 1921. We must first assess the scope of the loss, which is difficult to do, for in Russia, and then in the USSR, the tallies always provided approximate totals that were never definitive. This incredibly massive number was in fact a compilation of individual cases. In order to adopt the best way of approaching this experience, we have to detail the physical and moral ordeals that the soldiers endured from the time they were wounded until they ended up as disabled veterans: this process of transition weighed heavily on their ability to cope successfully. The army lost fighting forces, the men lost a part of themselves along with certain physical or mental capacities, and society lost its future workforce. The rhetoric of defeat, decline, and deficit heavily influenced the conception of the strikingly sudden, widespread phenomenon that exposed the moral fragility of the Russian nation. During the war, attitudes toward repairing bodies were polarised, torn between moralising suspicion (of self-inflicted wounds or simulation) and scientific uncertainties, military verifications and independent assessments of experts.
Explores imaginative connections between boxes and selves, especially bodies. In George Herbert’s poem ‘Ungratefulness’, humanity’s relationship with God is figured by some of the many bodily boxes that strew The Temple, with their associations of intimacy, and interrogation of openness and closure. Herbert hints at the material similarities between the boxes of the household and those ‘of bone’. The noun ‘chest’ can refer to both, and as early modern poets recognised, there is a striking physical resemblance between the anatomy of a human chest with its enclosing ribcage, and that of a wooden chest framed by iron bars. The chapter offers close readings of sermons by John Donne, poems by George Herbert, and Shakespeare’s Cymbeline. Drawing together the pervasive material and imaginative interactions between boxes and bodies, these texts show how thinking inside the box is rooted in the materiality of bodily experience. Boxes of all kinds become transformative objects to think with, but writers reveal that although boxes point towards order, and the neatness of containment, they also constantly push at their own boundaries.
As with his theorisation of theatre space, W. B. Yeats developed a complex theorisation of bodies, masks, and voices in performance. Like other aspects of his performance theory, these grew out of his own production experience, in which he could be said to have workshopped his theories. By the middle of the second decade of the twentieth century, he was writing his Plays for Dancers, in which the moving body is put in dialogue with the spoken word in ways that challenge our view of Yeats as a poet who wrote for the theatre. Likewise, his use of voices – particularly disembodied voices – in his theatre shows a thinking through of the phenomenology of the voice. However, it is in relation to the mask, which he theorises with such complexity in works such as A Vision, that we most clearly see Yeats as someone who thinks through theatre, to borrow a concept from Alain Badiou; using the nature of performance as a means of thought.
All the more telling for being an arbitrary and often intimate historical record, poetry provides the primary source for this chapter’s account of nineteenth-century medicine. Poems by John Gibson, Thomas Fessenden, George Crabbe, William Wordsworth, and Humphrey Davy disclose that the practice of medicine, whether by quacks or the learned, was so ineffectual at the start of the century as to allow the Romantics to plausibly argue for the curative effects of poetry and the imagination, both of which became integral to a new science of life. The professional medicine that sprang from this science, however, asserted its autonomy from poetry, most effectively by pathologising such poets as John Keats and Oscar Wilde, who in turn offered their own verse ripostes. Its positivism and ‘hands-on’ diagnostics yielded new conceptions of the body and touch that Alfred Tennyson, G. M. Hopkins, and Walt Whitman each reflect upon in their poetry. Finally, the growing acceptance of the germ theory of disease enabled pathologies of art as illness that are variously elaborated upon and joked about by Edward Lear, Henry Savile Clerk, Wilde, and Ronald Ross, who also reaches for poetry to record his sublimely momentous discovery of the malaria pathogen in 1896.
The period from the spring of 1947 to the end of 1951 witnessed the development of several schemes for the recruitment of the ‘worthiest’ DPs in France. The selection of DPs was influenced both by the domestic dynamics of French politics of national recovery and the external agendas of the IRO, which provided funding and shaped the ways the recruitment took place in the field. Originally, conceived as a plan to attract single workers, the scope of the French recruitment scheme was enlarged in 1948 to encompass DP families. The ideal DP family remained, however, healthy, patriarchal and nuclear. Recruiters and medical doctors drew heavily on assumed norms of patriarchal breadwinner and obligation. They wanted to avoid the recruitment of those who could be considered as a ‘burden’ for France. In categorising able and less abled bodies, they often implicitly resorted to moralist, eugenicist and hygienist considerations. In recruiting DP workers and families, French recruiters were not solely interested in attracting productive DP and assimilable migrants. Rather, French occupation officials were also concerned about the image of France abroad. The issue of France’s unpopularity was particularly salient, in a context when French officials strove to restore France’s prestige.
This chapter addresses how DPs’ physical and mental needs were assessed in the French zone and how relief workers responded to them. It considers what ‘rehabilitation’ meant to occupation officials and relief workers and what ‘therapies’ and ‘rehabilitative’ treatments they experimented. It focuses, in particular, on the hopes that they invested the remedial effects of the nuclear family and explores how DPs respond to these various experiments and gendered expectations. In the French zone, the emphasis was mainly placed on vocational rehabilitation, the re-education of mothers and rest in the countryside as a means to improve mental and physical health. The range of treatment offered revealed the influence of the inter-war ‘social hygiene’ crusade, occupational therapy and the professional reorientation movement. Crucially, this chapter uncovers the tensions between the utilitarian (turning DPs into productive future citizens) and recreational (providing soothing and restful activities) roles of rehabilitation, between the disciplinary (controlling DPs’ bodies) and empowering nature (encouraging DPs’ expression and initiatives) of relief activities.
Empedocles (about 492–430 BCE) promoted himself as a daimon in flesh. He told a cosmic story about how daimones fell from their blessed state and the mode of their return. The pure daimon is a spherical being made up of the energy of Love. Owing to a moral fault, the individual daimon falls into flesh and enters a drawn-out cycle of moral and physical purification. The fallen daimon purifies itself by living the lives of different animals and plants and by not eating substances that contain the daimonic essence. Empedocles is historically significant for his focus on individual and present daimonification, and for his cosmic story of daimonic fall and redemption, a story moralized by Plato and his intellectual heirs.
Origen here represents Christian notions of angelification, although brief consideration is given to antecedents, namely Clement of Alexandria and the Valentinians. Origen, like Empedocles, offered a cosmic story of fall and redemption. According to Origen, humans are “cooled” intellects whose natural state is to burn with love for God. A species upgrade is part of humanity’s evolutionary design, but it takes intense moral labor. Origen offers the most speculation on the nature of angels, the original consubstantiality of angels and souls, how angels and souls fell from divine Love, and the moral means of their return.
This chapter considers the ways in which filmmakers have established the ‘tragic universe’ in screen adaptations of Hamlet, King Lear and Macbeth, through attention to the environment. Filmmakers repeatedly foreground the interplay between human body, physical surroundings and filmic space in ways that foreground the tragic environment as subjectively experienced and produced, and in turn see that environment producing and influencing its human subjects. The chapter moves between three kinds of tragic environment. The open spaces of films by Akira Kurosawa, Roman Polanski, Justin Kurzel, and Grigori Kozintsev frame human conflict within the natural world, a world that often suffers ecological catastrophe alongside its inhabitants, but which also endures. Another strand of films, including work by Michael Almereyda, Penny Woolcock, Don Boyd and Vishal Bhardwaj, establishes urban environments that privilege an interpretive focus on community, claustrophobia, consumption, and class. Finally, other filmmakers from Laurence Olivier to Kit Monkman, as well as directors of stage-to-screen adaptations, utilise cinematic technique to foreground inner psychological space, with environments constructed subjectively around their protagonists.
The idea of capacity is central to Godwin’s political theory. In spite of his assurance that equality is unrelated to physical or intellectual ability, Godwin makes individual and social liberty contingent upon the types of contributions one’s capacities allow. His political system inevitably produces exceptions (those who do not or cannot contribute to the general good) for which he needs to devise additional measures. People who lack the right kinds of mental and physical capacities prove to be an intractable difficulty. In his fiction, Godwin centralizes the idea that the mind should work in concert with the body, and sees incapacity in either of these as socially and personally problematic. We see this in his repeated use of automata, dolls, and characters who disengage from their bodies in various ways; and in his fictional use of rejuvenation and cure. Godwin speculates that when reason governs society, illness and incapacity will no longer be present. His attitude towards deformity is quite separate from his views on capacity. Deformity, in Godwin’s fiction, is usually a visual sign of an evil character, and he does not articulate the prodigious phase of disability.
There is a pattern to how pregnancy is theatrically represented in Ireland: It is a taboo, a silence, an open secret. This is symptomatic of the Irish social and cultural stigmatization of women’s bodies and part of a larger discourse in which women’s bodies are carefully policed to be visible but inarticulate and assumed to be usable but unintelligible. This chapter considers new performances of pregnancy, maternity, and non-maternity on the Irish stage as a way of troubling the assumption that women’s bodies are invisible or inappropriate in contemporary theatre, in plays by ANU Productions, Bump & Grind, Stacey Gregg, Elaine Murphy, Frank McGuinness, Christian O’Reilly, and THEATREClub.
This chapter begins with a brief chronological outline of how vibrations figure in scientific and literary texts from the eighteenth-century to twentieth-century Modernism. It outlines approaches to the transmission of scientific and spiritualist concepts of vibratory energies and atoms through literature, going on to consider literary form and materiality as vibratory, focusing briefly on Conrad’s work. Moving further beyond the confines of literary periods, it then relates analysis of literature in its material forms to the work of music and sound studies scholars who are interested in the materiality of sound as vibration, focusing initially on contemporary bass music, and how it can affect its audience palpably and without linguistic signification. This latter area of research provides pointers for how literary approaches might engage with the materiality of texts and of reading/listening experiences, and, further, with an expanded sense of sound as a form of vibration that extends into the ‘infrasensory’ and operates both within and beyond discourse. The chapter goes on to use Dickens’s fiction to bring together approaches to textual, phenomenological and ontological vibrations. In its sonorous materiality, Dickens’s fiction records an experience of railway vibrations for its readers, while it also conveys a sense of their existence as borderline infrasound and of vibrations that escape perception and discourse.