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What's in a face?


Stratford, E, What's in a face?, Colloquium, Rowman & Littlefield International, Lanham, Maryland, United States, 8 April 2019 (2019) [Magazine Article]

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I am fascinated by the ways in which this fixation with beauty’s moral coding produced all kinds of moral geographies that implicate the interior of the body; the face and other parts of the body’s surface; or of the body in relation to other spaces such as the home, the street, town, or nation. How did the visage become so over-burdened as a chief signifier of the wellbeing or the degeneration of the individual, the race, or the empire? How was it that a woman’s face promised refinement and allure and, when cultivated—but never over-cultivated—signified her health and moral goodness? Or that clear eyes, clear skin, healthy hair, full lips—all hinted at her fecundity and capacity to maintain the health of nations and advance their imperial ambitions? After all, generations of women were told that the hand that rocked the cradle also ruled the world. [iii] By such means—and among the upper and burgeoning middle classes, often (and increasingly almost only) by such means—could a woman make apparently natural, powerful contributions to family and society.

Item Details

Item Type:Magazine Article
Keywords:feminine, home, nature, face, beauty, empire, biopolitics, geopolitics
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Human geography
Research Field:Social geography
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Stratford, E (Professor Elaine Stratford)
ID Code:131882
Year Published:2019
Deposited By:College Office - CALE
Deposited On:2019-04-10
Last Modified:2021-02-01

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