Locating Illness in the Social Body of Labour
Dr Arianna IntronaZoom
My presentation will introduce the theoretical framework I am developing to capture the ways in which illness is imagined as (un)belonging within the social body of labour in classed literary and social spaces. The research project this framework serves involves recuperative and archival research to determine how illness as a socioeconomic phenomenon is recorded – or surreptitiously appears - in literary and political writing. My presentation will instead focus on the methodologies that may render these recordings and appearances visible. To delineate the unfolding of illness as a socioeconomic phenomenon which constitutes labour as a social body, I will draw on François Guéry and Didier Deleule’s examination of how the labour-power contained in the biological body is socialised through the mediation of the productive body. In their The Productive Body Guéry and Deleule associate the productive body with a drive to appropriate individual bodies to feed capitalist processes of production. What happens, then, to the productive body when biological bodies become unavailable for appropriation through chronic or temporary illness? In addressing this question my investigation examines the location of illness in the social body of labour as key to an understanding of how illness is constituted through political-economic formations and discourses.