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The Brain's Body


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction: The Social Brain and Corporeal Politics 1

1. The Phenomenon of Brain Plasticity 17

2. What Difference Does the Body Make? 43

3. I Feel Your Pain 67

4. Neurobiology and the Queerness of Kinship 95

Conclusion: The Multiplicity of Embodiment 119

Notes 129

References 153

Index 177

About the Author

Victoria Pitts-Taylor is Professor of Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Wesleyan University and the author of Surgery Junkies: Wellness and Pathology in Cosmetic Culture.


"The Brain's Body's relevance and importance lie not only in this re-positioning of affect in neuroscience, but also in that... it deeply challenges the very presuppositions of the science itself, and how they function, in a burgeoning discipline that codifies our bodies and mind more intricately than ever before." -- Promise Li * Hong Kong Review of Books *
"[R]ather than embrace research on brain plasticity as telling an agreeable tale of human freedom, flexibility, and adaptability, Pitts-Taylor considers findings that clearly matter-the effects of childhood poverty on the neurological development of language systems-and shows just how entangled this research is with imaginings of social 'others.'" -- Steven Epstein * LA Review of Books *
"The Brain's Body is one of those books so incredibly useful for the work it does to help us understand and describe where it is we are-at a historical juncture where the stakes of feminist scientific literacy and engagement are high." -- Angela Willey * International Feminist Journal of Politics *
"This book breaks new ground in feminist studies of neuroscience. ... [Pitts-Taylor] offers a glimpse of what social neuroscience might be if it took embodiment and social relationship seriously." -- Robyn Bluhm * American Journal of Sociology *
"As we continue to wrestle with how the brain informs our sociological awareness and investigation, we will look to The Brain's Body as a blueprint to help us untangle fully the sociological usefulness, uncertainties, and risks in exploring the relationships between our brains and sociality." -- Oliver Rollins * Contemporary Sociology *

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