Controversial Embodiment: Sport, Masculinity, Dis/Ability


  • Marilena Parlati Università degli Studi di Padova


Parole chiave:

complex embodiment, disability, sport culture, performance, cyborg, Pistorius


This essay is an attempt at investigating visible forms of complex, indeed controversial embodiment, with the specific intention of concentrating on the ways they interrogate delicate issues such as disability, masculinity and prosthetic sport performance. I intend to sound the shifting boundaries between dis-ability and super-ability as manifested in iconic figures such as Stelarc and, in other fields, Oscar Pistorius, whose unsteady position as privileged/disabled bladerunner seems to require – and indeed to gather – particularly intense scrutiny. I shall introduce a few contemporary discourses on corporeality and embodiment, which focus on the ‘troubling’ nature of auxiliary organs Freud refers to in the much contended paragraph I adopt as epigraph and guiding procedural light; I shall move from Butler and Giddens to Jean-Luc Nancy’s work on transplants and/as prostheses to include theoretical debates on disintegrating embodiment and disability studies, in order to proceed towards an analysis of the short-circuiting of allegedly secure practices of (masculine) embodiment in sport culture and theory.


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Biografia autore

Marilena Parlati, Università degli Studi di Padova

Marilena Parlati is Associate Professor of Literatures in English at the University ofPadova. From 2000 to May 2015, she has been Associate Professor of Literatures inEnglish at the University of Calabria. Among her publications, E. Federici, M. Parlati(eds), The Body Metaphor, Perugia, Morlacchi, in print (2015); Oltre il moderno. Orrori etesori dell'Ottocento inglese, Milano, Mimesis, 2012; M. Parlati, M. Calbi (eds), EuropeanJournal of English Studies. “Matter and Material Culture”, 2011, 15, 1; “Treble Exposure‟:Fissured Memory in Eva Figes’s Fiction”, in H. Thomas (ed.), Malady and Mortality:Illness, Disease and Death in Literary and Visual Culture, Cambridge, 2015 (in print).




Come citare

Parlati, Marilena. 2015. «Controversial Embodiment: Sport, Masculinity, Dis/Ability». Altre Modernità, n. 14 (novembre):90-100.