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Title:Allegories of Mastery: Sex, Science, and the Making of the Modern Body in Renaissance Utopias
Author(s):Koepke-Nelson, Yvette Michelle
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Carol Thomas Neely
Department / Program:English
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Literature, English
Abstract:This project argues that the seventeenth-century transition from the humoral body to the modern, anatomical body depended on constructions of gender/sex. I examine this process in The Faerie Queene Book 2, The Legend of Temperance (1596), Phineas Fletcher's The Purple Island (1633), Francis Bacon's New Atlantis (1627), and Margaret Cavendish's The Blazing World (1655) to reveal its incompleteness and contradictions. In particular, the making of the modern body relied on the very humoral theory and cosmology of correspondence to which it is often opposed. This dissertation restores vital context---Galenic medicine's understanding of temperance, early modern models of spirits and matter---wholly ignored in critical reactions to these works, and contests the standard account of the modern body's emergence as the triumph of the empirical truth of anatomy. Analyzing instead how the modern body is constructed challenges usual assumptions that scientific discourse is distinct from the literary, that the modern subject depends on objectification, and that gender/sex is an add-on to both bodies and textual analysis.
Issue Date:2003
Description:339 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2003.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3101888
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2003

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