“Figures of the National Imagination: The Art and Science of Bodily Metaphors.”

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This paper aims to unpack the complex ways in which bodily metaphors of sexual difference are used strategically in national, scientific, and literary discourse in the science fiction film Children of Men. Set in a dystopic future, in which there have not been any new births in the last 18 years, Children of Men is reminiscent of the fear of Darwinian forces and, at the same time, contrary to contemporary concerns about the current rate of population growth. In this paper, I explore the film’s rhetoric of biopolitics, which describes the way that power is organized and instrumentalized through definitions of life itself. Figurative language, as I will demonstrate, is crucial to understanding and perpetuating the relation of inclusive exclusion that the feminine has with the nation and the body politic. At the core of this study is the question of how to escape this ideational cycle which links figurative and material violence.
Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - Apr 2010
EventAmerican Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting - New Orleans, Louisiana
Duration: Apr 1 2010Apr 30 2010


ConferenceAmerican Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting


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