Title

Resuscitating the Critical in the Biological Grotesque: Blood, Guts, Biomachismo in Science/Education and Human Guinea Pig Discourse

Publication Date

12-1-2009

Document Type

Article

Abstract

This article draws on Bakhtin and other cultural studies theorists to understand the role of the grotesque as a libratory moment in biology education. Four examples of texts and moments are analyzed: Sylvia Branzei’s Grossology series of children’s books about the grotesque, observations of a pig heart dissection, a standard high school textbook, and zines by and for human subjects. Findings confirm a powerful social leveling effect within the biological grotesque, but limits are also identified. Specifically, the grotesque itself can become a form of social capital in itself, and thus the material for establishing new hierarchies. The paper also examines the ways that teachers and texts try to limit the leveling effects of the grotesque.

Publication Title

Cultural Studies of Science Education

Volume

4

Issue

4

First Page

761

Last Page

780

DOI

10.1007/s11422-009-9186-5

Version

pre-print, post-print, no publisher's pdf

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