Changed Appearances: The Use of Masks on the Ceramics from the Theban Kabeirion in Greece
The vases of the Sanctuary of the Kabeiroi near the ancient city of Thebes in Boeotia, central Greece represent an iconographic treasure trove. The information contained within the images preserved upon the ceramics provides insights into a sanctuary we would not understand otherwise. There are a vast number of influences on these ceramics but one is especially interesting, the effect of the theatre on ancient Greek art. Scholars have widely accepted the concept that ancient Greek vases can contain scenes that have been taken directly from the stage. Scenery, costumes, choruses and other theatrical elements all appear with regularity on vases across the Greek world. The use of masks as part of this genre is especially interesting. The clearly stylised forms with their distinctive facial features make them instantly recognisable. A significant number of the vases from the Kabeirion have already been identified as being 'theatrical' in origin. This paper presents a revised catalogue of vase scenes and attempts to explain the motivations for decorating vases in such a manner.
Beside My Self: The Abject In Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper"
Melissa Ann Crowder
Charlotte Perkins Gilman's 'The Yellow Wallpaper', an example of the Female Gothic form, offers a stunning examination of the abject through a young woman's transformation from writer to wife to mother to invalid to lunatic. The trauma of birth and the resulting postpartum depression, coupled with the infantilisation and the intellectual stifling of the narrator by her husband, make this woman an instance of the abject to her self (selves) - unable to distinguish between herself and the original abject (the woman in the wallpaper). These, in turn, cause her descent into insanity, where the boundaries disintegrate between her self and her delusion, between sanity and insanity, and where she is brought to a frightening state of indistinction. The narrator of 'The Yellow Wallpaper' serves as a literary example of the abjection of self within the context of Female Gothic conventions. Her abjection functions within the text to demonstrate the abjection of women at the time, and the process by which their intellectual selves were separated from their physical selves in a horrifying creation of alterity within their own minds.
Manacles of Madness: Haywood's The Distress'd Orphan; Or Love in A Madhouse
Eliza Haywood's The Distress'd Orphan; or, Love in a Madhouse (1726) relates the fictional tale of Annilia, a young woman wrongly imprisoned in a madhouse so that her uncle can control her fortune. Although the plot sounds fantastical, in eighteenth-century Britain, the criteria of madness were wide-ranging, and it was not impossible to orchestrate the committal of a 'sane' person. Madness was subjected to not only vigorous physical confinement, but social and cultural confinement as well. In eighteenth-century England, the private madhouses operated as a trade; patients were referred to as 'customers,' and the criteria for judging someone as mad encompassed a wide spectrum of behaviours. Allan Ingram notes that 'the house built for fools and the mad is always capable of expansion simply by a shift in definition of what is sane;' the act of labeling someone as 'mad' emerged as a means of social control. Conduct manuals outline the personally restrictive social behaviours that young women were encouraged to follow; women who transgressed these behavioural codes or dared to challenge the judgment of their parents or guardians were often perceived as mentally ill or disabled. The novella portrays historical social attitudes toward those deemed insane; Haywood illustrates the particular abuse and powerlessness young women, 'sane' or 'insane,' faced in regard to their fortunes, marriage, and legal control of their persons.
Golden Mouths and Speaking Bodies: John Chrysostom's Depiction of Christian Martyrs
Martyrdom narratives from the mid-second to late-fourth centuries progressively focus on the suffering body and the physicality of persecution. This is particularly evident in John Chrysostom's depiction of the martyrs. Chrysostom describes martyrdom in graphic and gruesome detail, encouraging his audience to visualise the specifically corporeal elements of torture with the mind's eye. This vivid description is often accompanied by a contrasting, yet complimentary, description of the martyred body in poetic language and romanticised metaphors. Portraying martyrdom in this way, Chrysostom urges his audience to view the martyred body as though it were an icon of the mind. Contemplating the mental image of the martyred body, the individual is guided towards the perception of spiritual truths. Through its very corporeity, physicality, and weakness, the body of the martyr reveals and communicates theological messages. Furthermore, Chrysostom promotes this method of visualisation and contemplation to present the martyrs as ethical exemplars and moral instructors. Consciously aware of the communicative potential of the human body, Chrysostom depicts martyrdom as an edificatory and kinesic performance in which the martyrs preach with their bodies through the mental image. In this way, Chrysostom constructs and employs the memory of the martyrs in order to address the specific concerns, and inform the daily lives, of the Christian men and women in his audiences.
The Third-World Body Commodified: Manjula Padmanabhan's Harvest
This essay explores the occult economy of organ trafficking, which anthropologist Nancy Scheper-Hughes has referred to as a form of 'neo-cannibalism'. Illegally procured, these organs are harvested from third world bodies and transplanted into first world bodies. The organ is a new commodity available to first world consumers, a commodity no longer produced by a third world body, but literally extracted from this body. This essay offers a reading of Indian writer Manjula Padmanabhan's play Harvest (1997), a work that deals precisely with the commoditization of the healthy third world body, which, thanks to significant advances in transplant medicine, has now become a bank of spare parts for ailing bodies in the first world. The essay begins by examining the relevance of Marx's understanding of the commodity when the commodity under consideration here is a human body part that has not been produced by a labouring body. It turns next to a discussion of the idiom of science-fiction that Padmanabhan employs in order to launch her critique of this newly emerged from of exploitation. It considers how this genre allows Padmanabhan to portray such predatory behaviour as one that alternates between a process of surveillance and seduction, and why science-fiction is such a well-suited mode with which to launch a critique of this new relationship between first world organ purchasers and third world organ sellers.
The Parental Body in Law: An Examination of how the Working Parent is Conceptualized in UK Labour Law
Male and female bodies have been the subject of various conceptualizations in different contexts. However, the subject of law is generally conceptualized as a neutral and objective legal person. In the family-friendly labour law context the subject of law is the gender-neutral working parent. However, the 'ideal' legal person has been conceptualized by Naffine (1990) as a middle-class man, with a middle-class masculinity. In addition, others have suggested that certain areas of labour law relate directly to women, and some campaigners have even suggested that the law has swung too far in favour of women. This paper will consequently examine the conceptualization of the apparently gender-neutral body of the 'ideal' working parent in the family-friendly labour law context.
The paper in the first instance will present the previous conceptualization of the 'ideal' legal person, and the relevant gender-neutral family-friendly legislation. It will then attempt to determine whether or not the 'ideal' working parent is, or can be, appropriately conceptualized in the same way as the 'ideal' legal person. In addition, it will endeavour to discern whether or not the subject of family-friendly legislation is in fact the working mother, or if it is merely perceived to be so. At the end of this examination it should be possible to present a conceptualization of the 'ideal' working parent in the labour law context.