Bodies on Display: Queer Biopolitics in Popular Culture

Dec 8, 2015Publications

I have a new academic journal article out analyzing the queer biopolitics of Gunther von Hagens’s Bodyworlds exhibits of plastinated corpses, Juan Valverde de Amusco and Gaspar Beccera’s medical illustrations, and Loren Cameron’s transgender portrait photography:

Bodies on Display:

Queer Biopolitics in Popular Culture

Journal of Homosexuality, 63, no. 3 (2016): 349–68.

For this contribution to the special issue of the Journal of Homosexuality on “Mapping Queer Bioethics,” Cathy Hannabach undertakes the curatorial spaces of the library, the museum, the textbook, and the public exhibition.

With showcases such as natural history museums and the recent Bodyworlds traveling exhibit as touchstones, she argues that distinctions between medical and popular visual culture in pedagogical contexts are porous, such that the study of sensational body types (queer, anatomically atypical, and otherwise) are couched in culturally problematic appreciations of the agency of certain bodies to speak for and/or about themselves.

By extension, how and where certain bodies are viewed represent vital, bioethical dilemmas on the nature of corporeal viability.

Read the article at the Journal of Homosexuality

  • Note: the publisher puts this journal behind a paywall, unfortunately, but if you want a copy of the article, you can email me directly at cathy [at] ideasonfire [dot] net

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