Embodied Differences

Embodied Differences

The Jew’s Body and Materiality in Russian Literature and Culture

Henrietta Mondry


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This book analyzes the ways in which literary works and cultural discourses employ the construct of the Jew’s body in relation to the material world in order either to establish and reinforce, or to subvert and challenge, dominant cultural norms and stereotypes. It examines the use of physical characteristics, embodied practices, tacit knowledge and senses to define the body taxonomically as normative, different, abject or mimetically desired. Starting from the works of Gogol and Dostoevsky through to contemporary Russian-Jewish women’s writing, broadening the scope to examining the role of objects, museum displays and the politics of heritage food, the book argues that materiality can embody fictional constructions that should be approached on a culture-specific basis.


Henrietta Mondry:
Henrietta Mondry is Professor in the Department of Global, Cultural and Language Studies at the University of Canterbury. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and has published widely on cultural history and literature. Her books include Populist Writers and the Jews and Exemplary Bodies: Constructing the Jew in Russian Culture.