Download Blood Cultures: Medicine, Media, and Militarisms by Cathy Hannabach PDF
By Cathy Hannabach
Providing a cultural background of blood because it used to be mobilized throughout twentieth-century U.S. drugs, militarisms, and pop culture, Hannabach examines the ways in which blood has saturated the cultural imaginary.
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Extra resources for Blood Cultures: Medicine, Media, and Militarisms
Calls to end blood segregation were made in the name of military desegregation, but stopped short of critiquing the military apparatus itself. Such activists reproduced the militarized framework of a national body bound through blood, and positioned African American soldiers as good citizens who deserved to share in the blood bond linking militarism, medicine, and the national body. Not all activists mobilizing against the racist blood policy deployed this rhetoric, though. Many nationwide organizations used the civil rights approach—largely due to the ways US politics have been organized under liberalism—many local community organizers and activists formed transnational and intersectional critiques linking segregationist blood policy to broader social justice issues.
No explanation of the blood is given, and viewers are left to ponder the prevalence of violence against women, particularly at the hands of their partners and family members. Mendieta mapped women’s bloody and battered bodies, as well as the utter lack of legal or social justice offered to them in the US. Read retrospectively, these works horrifyingly predict precisely what happened with Mendieta’s own bloody and battered body through her death. While Mendieta’s blood work can and should be read as explicitly feminist, it is also part of the decolonization racial justice movements during this same time period, many of which foregrounded the relation between colonial sexual violence, land, and history.
Linking these specific regions—Iowa City, Oaxaca, and Havana—Mendieta asked which bodies had been erased from the landscape, and whose spilt blood made possible the US, Mexican, and Cuban nationalisms now dominant in those locales. It is difficult to talk about blood and land without falling into traps of essentialism. After all, tropes of land containing the blood of fallen bodies is a classic nationalist refrain used to justify violences of patriotism and war. Even feminists who seek to interrupt this nationalist narrative often fail to dismantle it, and instead seek to add those erased women’s bodies to the national body count.