As a category of analysis or as phenomena in society. (Yes, yes, I know those are not absolutely distinct.) I really, really have to go to bed but first a thought, following from the Dallacosta conversation today.

In the reading group we got briefly onto a tangent that went like this:

Biopolitics is nothing new, for women in the world and for feminists as category of analysis even though the term itself is new (the concept or the work done by the analysis is not). Women have long had bodily concerns and feminists long analyzed and politicized them. Federici’s book on witch hunts one example. Agamben re: bare life, what might this concept look like applied to conversations about and social realities of child bearing for much of human history? Does the concept shed any light on those realities? How does (should) the concept look different in the light of those realities? Point of comparison – European feminists around WWI made claims along these lines: “Men claim their citizenship based on their risk as soldiers; women risk as much and die as often in childbirth, which is at least as vital for the nation as war.” (See Ann Taylor Allen Feminism and Motherhood in Western Europe, 1890-1970.) Ways in which discourses on women have been biopolitical (and vice versa – the gendered components of biopolitics – women vs men as objects of management); ways in which movement like feminism have had biopolitical components.

(Only tangentially related, read this book eventually.)