Fran Martin and Larissa Heinrich. Embodied Modernities: Corporeality, Representation, and Chinese Cultures. Honolulu: University of Hawai`i Press, 2006. vi, 290 p. Hardcover $48.00, Isbn-10 0824829638. Fran Martin and Larissa Heinrich's edited volume Embodied Modernities: Corporeality, Representation, and Chinese Cultures brings together twelve highly original essays on modern Chinese body cultures. Collectively, the essays advance two key arguments: first, that modernity is neither singular nor Western, but multiple and interlocking; second, that modernities are embodied--lived, experienced, and performed by bodies in transit, in the interstices of everyday life. To insist that modernity has to be understood as bodies also logically implies that modernity is always sexed and gendered. Indeed, most of the essays focus on the sexually inscribed body (rather than, say, the laboring body, the collective socialist body, or the body as a field of structured dispositions). For the authors of Embodied Modernities, the analysis of how sexual and gender differences mark the body provides a particularly enabling perspective on how modernity has been invented in heterogeneous and unpredictable ways. The burden of the book is then to work out and defend the connection between the multiplicity of the body and the multiplicity of Chineseness. That is, the
China Review International – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Nov 28, 2008
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