African Studies Keyword: Body

Julie Livingston

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    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.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)129-143
    Number of pages15
    JournalAfrican Studies Review
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Mar 2021


    • Africa
    • body
    • care
    • consciousness
    • corpse
    • embodiment
    • experience
    • historiography
    • representation
    • sex

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Cultural Studies
    • Anthropology


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