With this book, a new field of inquiry is instantiated in folklore, bodylore. Coming out of work in critical theory and cultural studies, semiology and psychology, philosophy and communication, literature and psychoanalysis, anthropology and history, Bodylore investigates the bodily discourses and practices of various cultures, including our own, in order to delineate the metaphysics in terms of which we conceive and experience ourselves and others. The body is disclosed as a cultural artifact rather than a natural object, one invented and reinvented in and by its social appearances. The term bodylore was coined for the 1989 meeting of the American Folklore Society. It brings folkloristic concerns with body language, body costumes and accoutrements, body movement, discourses and representations of the body, body rituals and taboos, and beliefs about the body to a social history of embodiment.
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