chapter  1
32 Pages

Introduction: Senses and Citizenships


Be it fl ag-waving partisans or mothers birthing the next generation of military conscripts, Olympic athletes competing in the name of their country or volunteers constructing public works, the corporeality of citizenship is everywhere around us. Indeed, it has become a scholarly truism that conceptualizations of “the body of the nation” are often embedded in the activities, comportments, and experiential realities of the actual bodies of a nation’s populace. The fact that citizenship is not just a matter of rights and duties, as defi ned by the state, but also has a corporeal existence has similarly been well demonstrated. And wherever there are living, sensate bodies, the senses are a naturally arising component of physical-and in this case, politicallife. Or are they? Are the senses simply an expression of the inescapable corporeality of human political endeavor? Or can there be something inherently social-and more to the point, political-in how our senses themselves are constituted and, in turn, used in constituting the political?