Paper $35.00 ISBN: 9780226461366 Published April 2017
Cloth $105.00 ISBN: 9780226461229 Published April 2017
E-book $35.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226461533 Published April 2017 Also Available From
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Face/On

Face Transplants and the Ethics of the Other

Sharrona Pearl

Face/On

Sharrona Pearl

272 pages | 8 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2017
Paper $35.00 ISBN: 9780226461366 Published April 2017
Cloth $105.00 ISBN: 9780226461229 Published April 2017
E-book $35.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226461533 Published April 2017
Are our identities attached to our faces? If so, what happens when the face connected to the self is gone forever—or replaced? In Face/On, Sharrona Pearl investigates the stakes for changing the face–and the changing stakes for the face—in both contemporary society and the sciences.
 
The first comprehensive cultural study of face transplant surgery, Face/On reveals our true relationships to faces and facelessness, explains the significance we place on facial manipulation, and decodes how we understand loss, reconstruction, and transplantation of the face. To achieve this, Pearl draws on a vast array of sources: bioethical and medical reports, newspaper and television coverage, performances by pop culture icons, hospital records, personal interviews, films, and military files. She argues that we are on the cusp of a new ethics, in an opportune moment for reframing essentialist ideas about appearance in favor of a more expansive form of interpersonal interaction. Accessibly written and respectfully illustrated, Face/On offers a new perspective on face transplant surgery as a way to consider the self and its representation as constantly present and evolving. Highly interdisciplinary, this study will appeal to anyone wishing to know more about critical interventions into recent medicine, makeover culture, and the beauty industry.
 
Contents
1          Introduction: Effacing
2          Mind/Medicine
3          Losing Face on Film
4          Decoding the Face-Transplant Debates
5          A Very Special Makeover: Face Transplants on Television
6          Conclusion: Face Transplants and the Ethics of the Other
Acknowledgments
Appendix: Face Transplant Recipients
Notes
Bibliography
Index
 
Review Quotes
John Durham Peters, Yale University
“Written in a voice that is punchy, personal, ruminative, probing, and always crystal clear, Face/On shows how face transplants raise some of the oldest mysteries of identity and embodiment. Not only an inquiry into medical and media ethics, it is also a philosophical consideration of identity, a cultural study of popular discourse, an exploration of intractable questions about health and beauty, and a consideration of what it means to be an enfleshed being. Always poignant and funny, Face/On is illuminating.”
Kathy Davis, author of Reshaping the Female Body
“In this thoughtful and engaging exploration of medical, cinematic, popular, and literary representations of the face transplant, Pearl deftly shows what is at stake when faces are surgically changed as well as how these stakes have changed over the past century. Face/On powerfully confronts the societal abnegation of the faceless, the disfigured, and the visually different, compelling us all to rethink how we imagine humanity.”
Jack Halberstam, author of The Queer Art of Failure
“Pearl has provided us with a new chapter in the history of modern identity. Beautifully written, Face/On offers both a history of medical transplants and an account of philosophical and theoretical investigations of the relations between face and self.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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