‘Food and Embodied Identities in the Early Modern and Modern World, c. 1500-2000’

Words by Katrina Moseley (and Eleanor Barnett) An array of embodied foodways were brought before us in our end of year interdisciplinary conference, ‘Food and Embodied Identities in the Early Modern and Modern World’. Papers ranged in temporal scope from 1500 to 2000, weaving together the frameworks of anthropology, sociology, American studies, cultural studies, and history in an effort to unpick the connections between food and … Continue reading ‘Food and Embodied Identities in the Early Modern and Modern World, c. 1500-2000’

Meeting Notes: Cleanliness and Bodily Expulsions

Words by Eleanor Barnett Thinking about bodies, it became clear to us that we are not sealed off from the wider world, but are constantly consuming and expelling substances. The list of bodily expulsions is long: excrement, urine, sweat, vomit, ear-wax, hair, sometimes blood or milk, to name a few. Exploring how these expulsions have been historically understood, and how we have subsequently removed them or … Continue reading Meeting Notes: Cleanliness and Bodily Expulsions

Meeting Notes: Sex and Reproduction

Words by Katrina Moseley  Meeting date: 30/01/2018 Our reading group this term focused on our second bodily theme of ‘sex and reproduction’. Readings ranged in historical and geographical focus, from the sexual culture of Renaissance Europe (Judith Brown, Immodest Acts: The Life of a Lesbian Nun in Renaissance Italy) — to the medico-cultural world of Victorian Britain (Ornella Mosucci, ‘Clitoridectomy, Circumcision, and the Politics of Sexual … Continue reading Meeting Notes: Sex and Reproduction

Meeting Notes: Tattoos and tanning: the historical study of skin alteration in embodied identities

Words by Eleanor Barnett In our second meeting on our termly theme of bodily modification, we were really excited to hear two talks that focused on the alteration of skin. First, Dr Gemma Angel (UCL) presented a paper entitled, ‘The history and anthropology of European tattoos: a case study of the dagger-through-the heart tattoo’. Angel discussed the largest surviving European collection of preserved tattoos from … Continue reading Meeting Notes: Tattoos and tanning: the historical study of skin alteration in embodied identities

Meeting Notes: Bodily Modification

Words by Katrina Moseley  Meeting date: 17/10/2017 Our first session of term saw us discuss an activity so innate to humanity that we couldn’t help but pore over our own examples of personal and cultural encounters with it. From tattooing to teeth whitening; breast implants to bionic enhancements – not forgetting the array of more ‘mundane’ activities like hair removal; it seems that most of … Continue reading Meeting Notes: Bodily Modification