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IMC 2015: Sessions

Session 606: Locating the Body in Politics

Tuesday 7 July 2015, 11.15-12.45

Organiser:Anja B. Rathmann-Lutz, Departement Geschichte, Universität Basel
Moderator/Chair:Miriam Czock, Fakultät für Geisteswissenschaften, Universität Duisburg-Essen
Paper 606-aThe Bodies of the Fatimid Caliph
(Language: English)
Almut Höfert, Historisches Seminar, Universität Zürich
Index terms: Gender Studies, Islamic and Arabic Studies, Political Thought, Politics and Diplomacy
Paper 606-bIntact Regna and Disintegrated Bodies: France and England in the 14th Century
(Language: English)
Anja B. Rathmann-Lutz, Departement Geschichte, Universität Basel
Index terms: Gender Studies, Political Thought, Politics and Diplomacy, Sexuality
Paper 606-cThe Materiality of the Body Politic in Premodern Europe
(Language: English)
Anna Becker, Departement Geschichte, Universität Basel
Index terms: Gender Studies, Philosophy, Political Thought, Rhetoric

The metaphor of the 'body politic' is one of the most frequently evoked concepts in the history of political thought. The concretisation of this metaphor, however, is rarely discussed. This is even more surprising given the fact that in the last three decades, research on the history of the body and of corporeality provides the methodological and theoretical tools for this inquiry. In the proposed section we want to connect the two historical traditions and analyse the construction of the body and the physical in its constitution, essence and function for the political-philosophical culture of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

The three papers in our panel aim to readjust the relationships of separate research traditions and integrate approaches from the history of political ideas with the social and cultural history of the body in order to show the intertwined nature of the physical and the political or the body and the state. The papers will locate the body in politics by examining the bodies of fatimide caliphs, the relationship of government crises, corporal punishment and notions of the best rule as well as the materiality of the body metaphor in late medieval and Renaissance political philosophy.