So what is the upshot I mentioned in the post title? In the library, while reaching for PeggyPhelan's Unmarked, my eyes caught the title of the next book: Fecal Matters in Early Modern Literature and Art:Studies in scatology. Yeah, go ahead and read that again: Fecal Matters in Early Modern Literature and Art: Studies in scatology, by JeffPersels and Russell Ganim . The collection of essays outlines how and why feces, urine, phlegm, and other bodily grossness featured in everyday life in Early Modern Europe and made their way into visual arts and literature. The editors/authors claim this topic was the final taboo and needs to be more closely examined for contemporary scholars to better understand the relationship people in that era had with their (and others') bodies.
You're wondering why this book appeals to me and why I did actually check it out for three months? I've had an abstract accepted for a Toronto conference in October that I'm really excited about. My paper will be about the gross aspects of sustainability efforts that turn people off pro-environmental behaviours, things like highlighting waste processes in new green buildings and grey water recycling in homes and businesses to reduce water waste, or even vermicomposting with red wrigglers. I think a clearer perspective on why we react to gross things as we do will have a positive effect on how we communicate the need for behaviour change for a sustainable future. Make sense? Like, why do we squeal at the site of wriggling pink worms and why do most people in Western society cringe at the sight of human feces when both of these things can positively affect composting and gardening to shrink our ecological footprint. I'm really excited about the paper and am disappointed that I have to stall working on it because my comps will be so much later than expected.
Besides, who can resist a book with the following Table of Contents:
- The ‘Honorable Art of Farting’ in Continental Renaissance Literature - Barbara C. Bowen
- ‘The Wife Multiplies the Secret’ (AaTh 1381D): Some Fortunes of an Exemplary Tale - Geoffrey R. Hope
- Dr. Rabelais and the Medicine of Scatology - DavidLaGuardia
- ‘The Mass and the Fart are Sisters’: Scatology and Calvinist Rhetoric Against the Mass, 1560-1563 - JeffPersels
- Community, Commodities and Commodes in the French Nouvelle - Emily E. Thompson
- Pissing Glass and the Body Crass: Adaptations of the Scatological in Théophile - Russell Ganim
- Scatology as Political Protest: A ‘Scandalous’ Medal of Louis XIV - Jeanne Morgan Zarucchi
- Foolectomies, Fool Enemas, and the Renaissance Anatomy of Folly - Glenn Ehrstine
- Holy and Unholy Shit: The Pragmatic Context of Scatological Curses in Early German Reformation Satire - Josef Schmidt, with Mary Simon
- Expelling from Top and Bottom: The Changing Role of Scatology in Images of Peasant Festivals from Albrecht Dürer to Pieter Bruegel - Alison G. Stewart
- Tamburlaine’s Urine - Joseph Tate
- ‘The Wronged Breeches’: Cavalier Scatology - Peter J. Smith