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So Much Wasted


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction: Hunger in the Event of Subjectivity 1
1. The Archive of Anorexia 30
2. Enduring Performance 57
3. How to Stage Self-Consumption 85
4. To Lie Down to Death for Days 110
Afterword: The Ends of Hunger 138
Notes 153
References 173
Index 185

Promotional Information

An analysis of self-starvation as a significant mode of staging political arguments across the institutional domains of the clinic, the gallery and the prison

About the Author

Patrick Anderson is Associate Professor of Communication and a faculty affiliate of Critical Gender Studies and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, San Diego. He is a co-editor of Violence Performed: Local Roots and Global Routes of Conflict.


"In this brilliant and important book, Patrick Anderson dramatically expands our understanding of anorexia by foregrounding its theatricality and reflexivity, and linking it to prison hunger strikes and certain kinds of endurance art. He shows us how central the self is to all of these practices, both as object, and as agent. Self-starvation is often the theatre of last resort, the stage on which a person performs when all others have been removed. It can also be a way of spitting out the poisonous images that one has been forced to incorporate. And even a well-balanced meal is not psychically nourishing when you are compelled to eat it, Anderson argues in the last and most compelling chapter of this book. Force-feeding does not support life; it promotes, rather, a living death."--Kaja Silverman, University of California, Berkeley "Patrick Anderson has written a wonderful book, one that will have a real impact on the field of performance studies. The topic that he has chosen is important and timely: The forced feeding of prisoners on a hunger strike at Guantanamo, the anorexia epidemic among young women (and now men), and the removal of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube are only some of the most recent and urgent questions that have surfaced around the practice and politics of starvation and who, ultimately, has the power over the individual body."--Diana Taylor, author of The Archive and the Repertoire: Performing Cultural Memory in the Americas

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