By Catherine Waldby
This publication demonstates the level to which establis hed rules in regards to the virus, the immune procedure, the HIV try and the epidemiology of the ailment rely on unexamined, conservative assumptions approximately sexual id and sexual distinction.
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Extra info for AIDS and the Body Politic: Biomedicine and Sexual Difference (Writing Corporealities)
In particular it renders anatomical the Rousseauian proposition that every aspect of Woman, her lack of reason, incapacity for politics, sensitivity to sensation and mobility of emotion, is determined by her sex (uality). 10 The great success of Doctor Roussel’s text, she argues, derived from this capacity to realise the ideas of its age. Roussel concentrates in woman’s body a number of representations developed in various other sectors of the age’s encyclopedia, within the general space of letters which that period termed philosophy.
The ‘characteristic’ mode of image production, on the other hand, locates the typical in an individual specimen or object. The selection of particular objects is nevertheless made on criteria of typicality, that is on some claim to represent the majority of objects in the class of objects in question. So Daston and Galison point out that the choice of a typical object for anatomical representation was made on the basis of a prior knowledge of the range of ‘normal’ variation, and a judgement about at what point variation became deviation.
This demonstration requires a prior denaturalisation of both sexual identity and biomedical discourse, and in what follows I will develop a methodological and theoretical framework through which this denaturalisation might be perused. First I will discuss ways that biomedical discourse can be read as a (very particular kind of) textual practice rather than a transparent and referential science. Then I will consider how sexed bodies, the loci of naturalised ideas of sexual identity, can be located in historical processes, both subject to social transformation and the subjects and objects of historical contestation.
AIDS and the Body Politic: Biomedicine and Sexual Difference (Writing Corporealities) by Catherine Waldby
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