Book Announcement: THE CULTURAL POLITICS OF BLOOD, 1500-1900

February 4, 2015

The Cultural Politics of Blood, 1500-1900 is edited by Kimberly Anne Coles, Ralph Bauer, Zita Nunes, and Carla L. Peterson. The volume itself grows out of a collaboration on the part of four faculty members around the planning of the Bloodwork conference and the conversations that emerged from the conference.

The foreword by Priscilla Wald reads: The volume chronicles how the biologization of human distinctions expressed as blood, kinship, race, or some other marker, have facilitated the naturalization of power relations and, in turn, how those relations come back to life in the laboratories, clothed in the science of blood. This long history of human difference "written in blood" is compulsory reading for anyone interested in the myths of our contemporary moment and the bloodless futures we might imagine.

From the publisher's website: The essays collected here consider how conceptions of blood permeate discourses of human difference from 1500 to 1900 in England and continental Spain and in the Anglo- and Ibero-Americas. The authors explore how ideas about blood in science and literature have supported, at various points in history, fantasies of human embodiment and difference that serve to naturalize social hierarchies already in place. Situating the complex relationship between modern and pre-modern conceptions of race at the junction of early modern medicine, heredity, religion, and nation, The Cultural Politics of Blood challenges established accounts of the genealogy of modern racism.

Cultural Politics of Blood