The Politics of Bodies, Governance, and Power

340 pages

8 illustrations

August, 2018

ISBN: 9781479860531



Add to Cart Available: 7/27/2018

Also available in


SociologyAnthropologyMedia Studies

Part of the Biopolitics series


Kelly E. Happe is Associate Professor of Women’s Studies and Communication Studies at the University of Georgia. She is author of The Material Gene: Gender, Race, and Heredity After the Human Genome Project.

All books by Kelly E. Happe

Jenell Johnsonis Mellon-Morgridge Professor of the Humanities and Associate Professor of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is the author of American Lobotomy: A Rhetorical History.

All books by Jenell Johnson

Marina Levina is Associate Professor of Communication at The University of Memphis. She is the author of Pandemics and the Media.

All books by Marina Levina

A groundbreaking exploration of biocitizenship

Citizenship has a long, complex relationship with the body. In recent years, developments in biomedicine and biotechnology, as well as a number of political initiatives, grassroots efforts, and public policies have given rise to new ways in which bodies shape the idea and practices of citizenship, or what has been called “biocitizenship.” This book, the first collection of essays on the topic of biocitizenship, aims to examine biocitizenship as a mode of political action and expand readers’ understanding of biopolitics. 

Organized into four distinct sections covering topics including AIDS, drug testing on the mentally ill, and force-feeding prisoners, Biocitizenship delves deep into the relationship between private and public identity, politics, and power. Composed of pieces by leading scholars from a wide variety of disciplines, Biocitizenship offers a clear and comprehensive discussion on biocitizenship, biopolitics, and groups that may be affected by this ever-growing dialogue. Authors address issues familiar to biopolitics scholarship such as gender, sexuality, class, race, and immigration, but also consider unique objects of study, such as incubators, dead bodies, and corporations. 

Biocitizenship seeks to question who may count as a biological citizen and for what reasons, an essential topic in an age in which the body and its health provide the conditions necessary for political recognition and agency.


  • Biocitizenship offers marvelous transdisciplinary perspectives on how health, bodies, and life are entangled in power dynamics manifesting variously in civic belonging and political subjection, social exclusion, and creative resistance.”

    —Jennifer Terry, Author of Attachments to War: Biomedical Logics and Violence in Twenty-First-Century America

  • “This timely collection offers up rich and generative archives for thinking about the concept of biocitizenship, and in so doing becomes a vital resource for discussions on how we narrate and navigate engagements with the materiality of bodies alongside processes of biomedicalization, entangled as they are with the interests of capital and the differential valuation of lives.”

    —Angela Willey, Author of Undoing Monogamy: The Politics of Science and the Possibilities of Biology