This essay considers some of the implications of a critical turn from a concern with a 'political technology of the body' in the Foucauldian sense to one with embodied micropractices. I will contend here that a critique of social experiences that is conceptualised through attention to individualised, or intersubjective, corporeal practices, is necessarily limited. A critical focus on the affective or performative self potentially colludes with a political agenda that privileges the bourgeois concept of individuality over that of collectivity, and performative micropractices over the transformation of social relationships on a structural level. This article approaches these issues by investigating two forms of sexual deviance, enacted by the figures of Paul and Edith Dombey, in Dombey and Son - a text that explores the problematic of nineteenthcentury gender-specific discipline and resistance, but also a narrative that points to the conceptual limitations resulting from individualised notions of embodiment and embodied resistance. I will suggest that this novel codes Paul and Edith's resistance to Dombey's regime of gender-discipline as specifically physical and sexualised forms of deviance.
The Limitations of a Somatics of Resistance
Sexual Performativity and Gender Dissidence in Dickens's Dombey and Son
Reading and Writing in Prison
The aims of this special issue on ‘Reading and Writing in Prison’ are twofold: to insist on the cultural significance of paying serious critical attention to the genre of prison writing beyond canonical authors (such as Oscar Wilde) and to showcase reading and writing in prison as a space for radical pedagogy and social transformation – potential transformation not only for those ‘inside’ but also those going into prisons as facilitators, be they creative practitioners, academics, or university students.
Dickens and Sex
Holly Furneaux and Anne Schwan
This collection explores the still underrepresented topics of sex, erotics and desire in the work of Charles Dickens. Contributors draw upon and suggest new points of convergence between a wide range of theoretical perspectives including cultural phenomenology, materialism, new historicism, critical race studies, feminist and queer theory. Analysis of a broad range of Dickens’s fiction, journalism and correspondence demonstrates Dickens’s sustained commitment to exploring a diverse range of sexual matters throughout his career.
Kristina Aikens, William A. Cohen, Vybarr Cregan-Reid, Holly Furneaux, Jenny Hartley, Tara MacDonald, and Anne Schwan
Notes on contributors
Josie Billington, Melissa Dearey, Bethanie Petty, Brett Thompson, Clinton R. Lear, Donna Gibbs, Stephanie Gadsby, Tobi Jacobi, Joe Lockard, Sherry Rankins-Robertson, Simon Rolston, Anne Schwan, Breea C. Willingham, and Ed Wiltse
Notes on contributors