Blood Cultures: Medicine, Media, and Militarisms

Blood Cultures: Medicine, Media, and Militarisms

Blood Cultures coverCombining science studies, popular culture, and anti-racist feminist and queer politics, Blood Cultures examines how blood saturated the twentieth-century US cultural imaginary, slipped into laws and policies, flowed across screens, and seeped into our most intimate encounters.

The book assembles and engages a diverse archive including blood quantum rules, immigration and asylum law, transnational feminist blood art, epidemiological maps of disease, global health AIDS policies, Cold War vampire films, blood testing and sterilization practices, and activist blood drive campaigns.

Hannabach traces how these gendered, sexualized, and racialized blood practices were violently mobilized in the service of US empire, as well as creatively transformed by feminist, anticolonial, anticapitalist, and queer artists and activists.

Table of Contents


Bleeding Identities: The Racial and Sexual Politics of Blood Drive Activism

Cartographies of Blood and Violence

Technologies of Blood: The Biopolitics of Asylum

Between Blood and the Bomb: Atomic Cities, Nuclear Kinship, and Queer Vampires

Conclusion: Sanguinary Futures

Author Bio:

  • Dr. Cathy Hannabach is the president of Ideas on Fire, an academic editing and consulting agency helping progressive, interdisciplinary scholars write and publish awesome texts, enliven public conversations editor, and use their multimedia expertise to create more just worlds. Her scholarship focuses on transnational feminist cultural studies, queer disability studies, and science and technology studies. Her work has appeared in Women and PerformanceCultural PoliticsSocial Text: Periscope, and Studies in Gender and Sexuality.

Cathy Hannabach assembles an impressive interdisciplinary archive to explore important questions in twentieth century US political and cultural histories. Analyzing blood as both metaphor and material practice, Hannabach’s inventive, lively, and important book examines the relationship between race, gender/sexuality, and national belonging in popular culture, medicine, and in the military. Essential reading for transnational American Studies, gender and sexuality, and science and technology studies.

—Julie Sze, author of Fantasy Islands: Chinese Dreams and Ecological Fears in an Age of Climate Crisis

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Julie Sze

Blood Cultures is everything cultural studies scholarship aspires to be: urgent, rigorously interdisciplinary and bold in theorization and execution. And Cathy Hannabach is one of the most gifted, erudite, and sophisticated scholars I know.

—Juana María Rodríguez, author of Sexual Futures, Queer Gestures, and Other Latina Longings

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Juana María Rodríguez

How does blood circulate? Not simply in bodies, but through politics and over maps and across media? These are the questions that are central to Cathy Hannabach’s stunning multi-disciplinary, transnational analysis of the role of blood in giving life to American modernity. This book creates a narrative of the twentieth century, and a means of understanding the nation and its practices, from the American Red Cross to Guantanamo Bay.

—Eric Smoodin, author of Regarding Frank Capra: Audience, Celebrity, and American Film Studies, 1930-1960

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Eric Smoodin

Read a review of Blood Cultures in the journal Medical History