In her recent book, Private Bodies, Public Texts, “Karla Holloway examines instances where medical issues and information that would usually be seen as intimate, private matters are forced into the public sphere. . . . The resulting social dramas often play out on the bodies of women and African Americans.” They are objectified and become spectacles.

Examples given of private bodies becoming public texts include paradigmatic bioethics cases involving Terri Schiavo, Henrietta Lacks, the men of Tuskegee, and more recently Jahi McMath and Marlise Muñoz.

Karla Holloway, PhD is the James B. Duke Professor of English, Law and Women’s Studies at Duke University. She has a MLS degree from Duke Law School and serves on their faculty. Dr. Holloway is a member of the IOM Committee on Transforming Care at the End of Life. She has authored eight books.

The Ethics of Spectacle:
How a Private Body Becomes a Public Text
August 13, 2014


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