Embodiment, Materiality and Symbolic Regimes

  • Erika Cudworth


The notion of corporeality and a concern with the embodied qualities of gendered power has been key to the development of Western feminist theory. The defining of birth, mothering, reproductive management, the praxis of sex, domestic violence and adornment as questions of politics, cultural representation and social organization, has meant that feminism has often been embodied theory. Ecofeminists have emphasized embodied relations of power with respect to reproductive technol-ogy, foodways, and specific environmental impacts on women’s bodies and health. Elements of other ecologisms might be read as embodied theory. The “wilderness reverence” of deep ecology is both implicitly suggestive and explicitly demonstrative of the engagements of bodies with/in their environments. As we have seen, there is an ecofeminist critique of such literature as encapsulating an exclusionary experience of natured embodiment in its emphasis on difficult and demanding physical experiences. There is also a postmodernist critique which focuses on the “purist” elements of such endeavors, which often commend some form of “return” to nature and a holism which posits an “essentialist” relation between humanity and “environment.” Nevertheless, a strong element of thinking through the body is to be found in such writing.


Domestic Violence Embryo Transfer Companion Animal Physical Body Disciplinary Practice 
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Copyright information

© Erika Cudworth 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erika Cudworth
    • 1
  1. 1.University of East LondonUK

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