Prosthesis in Medieval and Early Modern Culture

1st Edition

Chloe Porter, Katie L. Walter, Margaret Healy

Routledge
Published December 12, 2017
Reference - 174 Pages
ISBN 9781138095311 - CAT# Y335963

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Summary

‘Prosthesis’ denotes a rhetorical ‘addition’ to a pre-existing ‘beginning’, a ‘replacement’ for that which is ‘defective or absent’, a technological mode of ‘correction’ that reveals a history of corporeal and psychic discontent. Recent scholarship has given weight to these multiple meanings of ‘prosthesis’ as tools of analysis for literary and cultural criticism. The study of pre-modern prosthesis, however, often registers as an absence in contemporary critical discourse.

This collection seeks to redress this omission, reconsidering the history of prosthesis and its implications for contemporary critical responses to, and uses of, it. The book demonstrates the significance of notions of prosthesis in medieval and early modern theological debate, Reformation controversy, and medical discourse and practice. It also tracks its importance for imaginings of community and of the relationship of self and other, as performed on the stage, expressed in poetry, charms, exemplary and devotional literature, and as fought over in the documents of religious and cultural change. Interdisciplinary in nature, the book engages with contemporary critical and cultural theory and philosophy, genre theory, literary history, disability studies, and medical humanities, establishing prosthesis as a richly productive analytical tool in the pre-modern, as well as the modern, context. This book was originally published as a special issue of the Textual Practice journal.

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