The Body in Theory

Essays After Lacan and Foucault


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About the Book

The body has always had the potential to unsettle us with its strange exigencies and suppurations, its demands and desires, and thus throughout the ages, it has continued to be a subject of interest and obsession. This collection of twelve peer-reviewed essays on Jacques Lacan and Michel Foucault interrogates the body in all of its beauty…and with all of its blights and blemishes. Written by a diverse body of scholars—art historians, cultural theorists, English professors, philosophers, psychoanalysts, and sociologists from North America and Europe—these essays bring into conversation two intellectual giants frequently seen as antagonists, and thus rarely seen together. Topics covered include: the intersections of Foucault and Lacan and how they bring to light new thoughts on the senses, the self-destructive body, ableism and disability in Guillermo del Toro’s film The Shape of Water, body image and the ego, selfie-culture, and metamorphosis in Ottessa Moshfegh’s novel My Year of Rest and Relaxation, among others.

About the Author(s)

Becky R. McLaughlin is a professor of English at the University of South Alabama, where she teaches critical theory, film, and gender studies. She has published essays on topics such as fetishism, feminine jouissance, sexual fantasy, epistemological trauma, auto-ethnography, the voice, and rock music. Her current research is on gender, madness, and film.

Eric Daffron is a professor of literature at Ramapo College of New Jersey, where he teaches gothic literature and literary theory, among other subjects. He has published on male homosociality, gothic literature, and other topics. His current research is devoted to Roland Barthes and Michel Foucault and to questions regarding the body and sexuality.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Becky R. McLaughlin and Eric Daffron

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 193
Bibliographic Info: 15 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2021
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7855-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4345-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Introduction: Friendship in a Time of Covid-19
Becky R. McLaughlin and Eric Daffron 1
Towards an Understanding of the Olfactory Drive
Calum Neill and Claudia Di Gianfrancesco 25
The Living and Dead Body in Foucault’s Clinical Gaze
Lauren Jane Barnett 34
Is the Autistic Body a Body Without Organs?
Leon S. Brenner 42
The ­Self-Destructive Body through the Lens of Foucault and Lacan: Resistance and Jouissance
Evi Verbeke 56
Lacan, Film, and the Disabled Body
Marina Cano 68
The Hunchback as Visual Paradigm of Violence in Modern Art: Géricault, Dix, and Salomon
Michiko Oki 80
The Ego as Body Image: Lacan’s Mirror Stage Revisited
Dan Collins 92
Desire, Discourse, and Autosurgery in the Fiction of Patrick O’Brian
John Halbrooks 105
Ego Portrait: ­Self-Photography as Symptom in Contemporary Technoculture
Chris Vanderwees 115
Social Media, Biopolitical Surveillance, and Disciplinary Social Control: Aggregating Data to Examine Docile Bodies
Michael Loadenthal 124
From Symptom to Sinthôme: Ridding the “Body of Substance” in My Year of Rest and Relaxation
Erica D. Galioto 140
Posthumanist Metamorphosis and Discipline: Barney’s Drawing Restraint and Foucault on Raymond Roussel
Irina Chkhaidze 151
About the Contributors 177
Index 179

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “… a very valuable and new contribution to theory, to Foucauldian and Lacanian studies, and to studies of the body from a variety of standpoints.” —Lydia M. McDermott, associate professor and chair of Rhetoric, Writing, and Public Discourse, Whitman College