Disciplinary Apparatus and the Paining of Transgressive Bodies

  • Alireza FakhrkonandehEmail author


This chapter presents a sustained account of the manifold ways whereby the body, in Barker, is depicted to be invariably intermeshed in the mechanisms of knowledge and (ethical-political) power, along with the competing economies of desire and subjectivation. The body is also discerned as the place of convergence, contestation, and interplay of diverse discursive and non-discursive forces. Body thus features as a conflicted site of self-knowledge, of the inscription/interiorization of the Law, and the expression/experience of transgressive desire, heteronomous ethics, and pain (as a means of either de- or re-subjectivation). This chapter unravels the densely woven and manifold image of the body in The Castle and other plays by delineating how various modes of power (sovereign, pastoral, and disciplinary)—with a particular focus on the anatomo-politics and bio-politics—take the embodied consciousness and body of the individual as their target. We will see how a salient instance of such twofold disciplinary practices—confession—reveals the concomitance of the hermeneutics of the subject and discursively produced modes of truth, value, and knowledge. One of the crucial outcomes of this discursive mechanism is the production of “soul as the prison of the body.” Finally, it will be discussed how Skinner’s quasi-pregnancy, manifested in her being festooned to the corpse, leads not only to a drastic re-configuration of her ontological, aesthetic-ethic and political gravities but also the re-schematization of her affective-cognitive orientation away from other-related homoerotic and obsessive-possessive love not. Therefore, becoming-other and autonomy for Skinner are double-edged—at once liberating and restrictive.


Anatomo-politics and bio-politics of the body Sovereign power Disciplinary power Hermeneutics of the subject of desire Confession 

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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK

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