The human body is a central entity and analytic within African life and Africanist scholarship. The source of perception and the seat of animation, of life, it grounds experience of the world while also providing a rich set of symbols from which humans draw in political, social, and religious life to create and communicate meaning. Livingston reviews approaches to the body as a key concept in Africanist scholarship, tracing regimes of bodily representation ranging from the deployment of bodily symbolism in ancient smelting furnaces to the hypervisibility of the black female body in the European colonial imagination. She discusses a welter of bodily experience, from the pain of childbirth and the vulnerabilities of illness and accident to the sensorium or the kinesthetic power of movement and dance. In the process, Livingston considers developments within the field of African Studies via the body.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies