Title Biocitizenship
Subtitle The Politics of Bodies, Governance, and Power
Author Kelly E. Happe, Jenell Johnson, Marina Levina
ISBN 9781479860531
List price GBP 24.99
Price outside India Available on Request
Original price
Binding Paperback
No of pages 340
Book size 152 x 228 mm
Publishing year 2018
Original publisher New York University Press (Combined Academic Publishers)
Published in India by .
Exclusive distributors Viva Books Private Limited
Sales territory India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, .
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“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


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



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.



Jenell Johnson, Kelly E. Happe, and Marina Levina

Part I. Categorical Understandings

Chapter 1. Governing Sexual Health: Bridging Biocitizenship and Sexual Citizenship

Steven Epstein

Chapter 2. Carceral Biocitizenship: The Rhetorics of Sovereignty in Incarceration

Sarah Burgess and Stuart J. Murray

Chapter 3. Epigenetics and the Biocitizen: Body Temporality and Political Agency in the Postgenomic Age

Kelly E. Happe

Part II. Modes of Governance

Chapter 4. Chronic Citizenship: Community, Choice, and Queer Controversy

Jeffrey A. Bennett

Chapter 5. The Necropolitical Functions of Biocitizenship: The Sixth International AIDS Conference and the U.S. Ban on HIV-Positive Immigrants

Karma R. Chávez

Chapter 6. Exploiting Vulnerable Citizens: Drug Testing and the Mentally Ill

Carl Elliott and Emma Bedor Hiland

Part III. Activism and Resistance

Chapter 7. Feeding Hunger-Striking Prisoners: Biopolitics and Impossible Citizenship

Nayan Shah

Chapter 8. Biocitizenship on the Ground: Health Activism and the Medical Governance Revolution

Merlin Chowkwanyun

Chapter 9. The Rise of Health Activism: The Importance of Social Class to Biosociality

Celia Roberts and Richard Tutton

Chapter 10. Patient Activists: Experience with Public Engagement

Heather Aspell, Julie Cerrone, and Kirsten Schultz

Part IV. Beyond the Biocitizen

Chapter 11. Nonhuman Biocitizens: Lab Animals, Cruel Optimism, and the Politics of Death

Marina Levina

Chapter 12. The Citizens of Incubators: Vessels of Care and Control

Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr

Chapter 13. The Supra-Cyborg: The Rise of Global Governing Corporatocracies

Celeste M. Condit


About the Contributors


About the Editors:

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.

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.

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

Target Audience:

People interested in Sociology, Anthropology and Political Science.

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