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Aesthetic interventions : the biopolitics of the U.S. soldier's wounded body and horror of nothing to see

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Title:Aesthetic interventions : the biopolitics of the U.S. soldier's wounded body and horror of nothing to see
Authors:Gallagher, Brianne Patricia
medical complex
Date Issued:May 2014
Publisher:[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2014]
Abstract:This dissertation examines how the U.S. soldier's wounded body becomes a productive site of knowledge and power within the military-medical complex. Rather than situate soldiers' trauma from the current wars within narratives of loss, this project demonstrates how medical, scientific, psychiatric, and therapeutic institutions treat the soldier's wounded body as a patient-body that can be cured and re-circuited back into capitalist and militarized modes of production. Specifically, the project examines the shifting gender and sexual dynamics of the military-medical complex in the Global War on Terror in Afghanistan and Iraq. A central theme of the dissertation is that the discipline of the soldier patient-body within the military-medical complex involves the production of militarized masculinities that depend on fears of feminization. When soldiers attempt to receive mental health treatment and resist processes of militarization they often become feminized as "PTSD Pussies" and as unmanly soldier-bodies by their Commanders and fellow soldiers.
In addition, the project examines the visible and invisible traumatic effects and affects of the wars for soldiers and civilians across multiple differences of gendered embodiment and racial, class, and colonial inequalities. It explores how the policing of soldiers' and civilian' bodies within the military-medical complex on the homefront and warfront operates as the "horror of nothing to see" in dominant media representations of a so-called clean war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Finally, it examines how soldiers and veterans attempt to demilitarize trauma by reclaiming their bodies, their selves, from military and therapeutic discourses of knowledge and power. The project explores a growing archive of poems, films, art works, veteran testimonies, and new media that address the traumatic affects of the wars for soldiers and civilians since the events of 9/11. This dissertation thus contributes to a growing literature in feminist theories of gender and militarism, feminist science and technology studies, and disability studies that reframe the "horror of nothing to see" in the wars in order to imagine and actualize more demilitarized, egalitarian futures.
Description:Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2014.
Includes bibliographical references.
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Political Science

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