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Table of Contents

* Introduction * The Nudity/Clothing Dialectic * The Metaphor of Nudity * Unnatural Nature: Mess, Savagery, Perversion, Crime * The Nude Republic: Celebrity, 'Ordinariness' and Identity * Conclusion

About the Author

Ruth Barcan is Lecturer in the department of Gender Studies, University of Sydney.


'Ultimately it's fascinating, as it could hardly fail to be.' Giles Whittell, Times 'Ive met a lot of folks that think a lot about nudity, but none understand it as well as Ruth Barcan. Nudity: A Cultural Anatomy is a fascinating book about a fascinating subject, and the first of its kind. It goes deep inside nudity, picks it apart, unveils its mysteries, and shines light on its complexities. I was amazed.' Annie Sprinkle, Ph.D., Nude performer turned Sexologist 'Ruth Barcans brilliant study of the social meanings of nudity is at once learned, witty, and incisive. To be nude is never to be naked: this book ranges broadly across philosophy, religion, literature and popular culture to tell us why, in a lucid analysis of our divided and complex status as human beings.' John Frow, University of Edinburgh 'Nudity interests everyone, but few understand it deeply. Ruth Barcan does. With splendid insight, she examines theory and practice to elucidate nudity as identity, performance, metaphor -- and a paradoxical phenomenon that both reflects and influences our humanity in all its complexity. This is a wonderful book, fascinating and refreshing.' Paul Rapoport, McMaster University, and editor of Going Natural 'This book is excellent and of the highest standard in terms of scholarly discussion and exposition; it is also very lively, entertaining, and superbly written. The author claims that the book is rather 'quirky' - and it is, indeed, distinctly offbeat. It is also incredibly illuminating of fundamental questions about humanity and embodiment.' Joanne Entwistle, University of Essex and co-editor of Body Dressing 'Two kinds of nudity? Oh, there are many, many kinds. If you want to know how many, try Ruth Barcan's Nudity: A Cultural Anatomy. Her subject is both embracing and inviting. We are all potentially naked, and we're all pretty interested. In a way, that's the point. The nude body is never a matter of indifference.' Evening Standard, Books 'Fascinating, instructive and salutory...we certainly need the precious insights this book brings to an area where our thinking, if it takes place at all, is so often muddled.' Simon Wilson, RA Magazine 'Nudity is one of the most fundemental metaphors in the western tradition, indeed, it is a metaphor for human nature itself, and yet 'Nudity: A Cultural Anatomy' is the first book to explore its paradoxes in depth.' Clifford Thurlow, The New Nude Mag 'Barcan is an Australian cultural studies academic, and her subject is both embracing and inviting.' Tom Lubbock, Evening Standard, Books

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