This book considers arousal as a mode of theoretical and artistic inquiry to encourage new ways of staging and examining bodies in performance across artistic disciplines, modern history, and cultural contexts. Looking at traditional drama and theatre, but also visual arts, performance activism, and arts-based community engagement, this collection draws on the complicated relationship between arousing images and the frames of their representability to address what constitutes arousal in a variety of connotations. It examines arousal as a project of social, scientific, cultural, and artistic experimentation, and discusses how our perception of arousal has transformed over the last century. Probing “what arouses” in relation to the ethics of representation, the book investigates the connections between arousal and pleasures of voyeurism, underscores the political impact of aroused bodies, and explores how arousal can turn the body into a mediated object.
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