Naked Politics

Naked Politics : Nudity, Political Action, and the Rhetoric of the Body

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Although public nudity as a form of political action has a history stretching back at least as far as Lady Godiva, Naked Politics: Nudity, Political Action, and the Rhetoric of the Body by Brett Lunceford, is one of the few books that examine political nudity from a rhetorical standpoint. Beginning with the notion that the body itself is communicative beyond the ability to speak, this work examines a variety of cases in which people employ the disrobed body for political ends.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 190 pages
  • 157.48 x 231.14 x 17.78mm | 453.59g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 073916709X
  • 9780739167090
  • 1,825,524

Table of contents

Chapter 1. Introduction: Naked in Public (For a Cause) Chapter 2. Chained Women and Running Nudes: PETA's Body Rhetoric Chapter 3. Weaponizing the Breast: Lactivism and Public Breastfeeding Chapter 4. Can You See Me Now, Driver? World Naked Bike Ride Chapter 5. Political Display and the Mediated Body: Exhibition and Politics on Chapter 6. Conclusion: The Nude Body and the Public Sphere
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Review quote

Set within the foundations of rhetorical theory and critique as well as scholarship on social movements, Lunceford focuses on the body as a site of resistance and as a means of persuasion... Other scholars have done similar analyses of bodies as symbolic of protest messages, but none have done so extensively and so engagingly as Lunceford, who often attracts his reader's attention with a personal story, then narrates and analyzes a moment of protest, at times by letting a protester tell his or her story, and finally speculates to what extent the display of nudity seems to convey the chosen message or how that message is misinterpreted or is distorted by the display itself . ... [T]he book [is] an enjoyable and informative read, covering some movements that [are very] familiar such as PETA and lactivism, and some that were new... particularly the political protests via Lunceford certainly has placed his study well within the rhetorical conversation about how bodies can convey rather sophisticated messages and resist normalization... Lunceford... has excelled in analyzing how, with each such social movement, the body sets up a problematic and nuanced transaction between the viewer and the nude. The book should be welcomed not only by established rhetorical scholars, particularly those who do "body work," but also by graduate students who need to encounter such scholarly conversations in their seminars. Rhetoric Society Quarterly Tracing the naked body as a tool of protest across a range of political protests from the public sphere to online spaces, Brett Lunceford presents a beautifully-argued research which demonstrates the complexity through which naked body rhetoric emerges in the political scene today. Naked Politics provides a concise, historically-informed and highly-accessible analysis of the rhetorical power of nudity as a method of protest. -- Rob Cover, The University of Western Australia This insightful and fascinating close-up look at nude protest draws elegantly on a wide range of social and cultural theory. Moving through a series of well-chosen case studies, it is an intelligent exploration of the complexities and contradictions involved in choosing nakedness as a vehicle for protest. -- Ruth Barcan, The University of Sydney
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About Brett L. Lunceford

Brett Lunceford is assistant professor in the Department of Communication at the University of South Alabama.
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