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About this product
- DescriptionFrom French Physiocrat theories of the blood-like circulation of wealth to Adam Smith's invisible hand of the market, the body has played a crucial role in Western perceptions of the ecomic. In Renaissance culture, however, the dominant bodily metaphors for national wealth and ecomy were derived from the relatively new language of infectious disease. Whereas traditional Galenic medicine had understood illness as a state of imbalance within the body, early modern writers increasingly reimagined disease as an invasive foreign agent. The rapid rise of global trade in the sixteenth century, and the resulting migrations of people, money, and commodities across national borders, contributed to this growing pathologization of the foreign; conversely, the new trade-inflected vocabularies of disease helped writers to represent the contours of national and global ecomies. Grounded in scrupulous analyses of cultural and ecomic history, Sick Ecomies: Drama, Mercantilism, and Disease in Shakespeare's England teases out the double helix of the pathological and the ecomic in two seemingly disparate spheres of early modern textual production: drama and mercantilist writing. Of particular interest to this study are the ways English playwrights, such as Shakespeare, Jonson, Heywood, Massinger, and Middleton, and mercantilists, such as Malynes, Milles, Misselden, and Mun, rooted their conceptions of national ecomy in the language of disease. Some of these diseases-syphilis, taint, canker, plague, hepatitis-have subsequently lost their ecomic contations; others-most tably consumption-remain integral to the modern ecomic lexicon but have by and large shed their pathological senses. Breaking new ground by analyzing English mercantilism primarily as a discursive rather than an ideological or ecomic system, Sick Ecomies provides a compelling history of how, even in our own time, defenses of transnational ecomy have paradoxically pathologized the foreign. In the process, Jonathan Gil Harris argues that what we w regard as the discrete sphere of the ecomic cant be disentangled from seemingly unrelated domains of Renaissance culture, especially medicine and the theater.
- Author BiographyJonathan Gil Harris is Professor of English at George Washington University and the author of Foreign Bodies and the Body Politic: Discourses of Social Pathology in Early Modern England.
- Author(s)Mr. Jonathan Gil Harris
- PublisherUniversity of Pennsylvania Press
- Date of Publication24/12/2003
- SubjectRegional History
- Place of PublicationPennsylvania
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintUniversity of Pennsylvania Press
- Content Noteblack & white illustrations
- Weight556 g
- Width155 mm
- Height235 mm
- Spine19 mm
- Format DetailsWith printed dust jacket
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