Session Description: Feminist geographers have a long history of engagement with theories on the body. As “the geography closest in” (Rich, 1986), the body is a key site of struggle in which we not only experience oppression but also work toward the construction of new and better alternatives. Theorizations of the body have, necessarily, crossed disciplinary and sub-disciplinary boundaries. Feminist economic geographers have contributed a large body of research on the gendered nature of capitalism, while feminist medical/health geographers have made significant inroads in the theorization of health, difference, and the body. While bodies are never completely determined by their economic contexts, this session seeks to unite these literatures in an attempt to theorize how interventions of patriarchy and capitalism on the body produce particular experiences of health and disease in the twenty-first century.
This paper session invites theoretical and/or empirical feminist research that investigates the intersections of health, capitalism, and the body/bodies from a variety of approaches. Broadly, we will attempt to answer the questions, How does capitalism shape the health of different bodies? How do embodied experiences of health and illness perpetuate or challenge contemporary forms of capitalism? The session is intentionally broad as a means of creating a new space in which engagements between feminism, critical medical geography, and political economy can be articulated. To this end, it is hoped that the presentations will spark a new research collective comprised of geographers doing research in a range of subdisciplines.