Attachments to War

Biomedical Logics and Violence in Twenty-First-Century America

Attachments to War

Next Wave: New Directions in Women's Studies

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Book Pages: 264 Illustrations: 15 illustrations Published: November 2017

Author: Jennifer Terry

American Studies, Cultural Studies, Science and Technology Studies > Feminist Science Studies

In Attachments to War Jennifer Terry traces how biomedical logics entangle Americans in a perpetual state of war. Focusing on the Afghanistan and Iraq wars between 2002 and 2014, Terry identifies the presence of a biomedicine-war nexus in which new forms of wounding provoke the continual development of complex treatment, rehabilitation, and prosthetic technologies. At the same time, the U.S. military rationalizes violence and military occupation as necessary conditions for advancing medical knowledge and saving lives. Terry examines the treatment of war-generated polytrauma, postinjury bionic prosthetics design, and the development of defenses against infectious pathogens, showing how the interdependence between war and biomedicine is interwoven with neoliberal ideals of freedom, democracy, and prosperity. She also outlines the ways in which military-sponsored biomedicine relies on racialized logics that devalue the lives of Afghan and Iraqi citizens and U.S. veterans of color. Uncovering the mechanisms that attach all Americans to war and highlighting their embeddedness and institutionalization in everyday life via the government, media, biotechnology, finance, and higher education, Terry helps lay the foundation for a more meaningful opposition to war.


Attachments to War provides a set of tools that will be valuable to students and established scholars alike for prizing apart and connecting together these attachments in new and vitally necessary ways.” — Kenneth MacLeish, Medical Anthropology Quarterly

"Terry’s work is eye-opening to a powerful new perspective on the American way of war. Her scholarship is well researched and carefully supported. . . . A fascinating piece of scholarship concerning a tragically understudied subject." — James Sandy, H-Diplo, H-Net Reviews

"Terry’s work serves as a critical reminder that biomedicine, 'as both an epistemological formation and an industry,' sutures war to care, laboring to convince the public that the knowledge produced through warfare justifies its violence. The crucial work of dismantling US empire, Terry reminds her reader, is to reject that 'labyrinth of excuses.'" — Jennifer Kelly, Radical History Review

"This brilliant book is a thoughtful and profoundly original study of how war becomes an object of attachment and support in the United States. Jennifer Terry's discussion of wounding, injury, trauma, and prosthetics is one of the most fascinating, moving, and intensely generative studies I have read about how war is normalized, made everyday, and embedded in practices and beliefs and affect(ion)s of ordinary folks." — Laleh Khalili, author of Time in the Shadows: Confinement in Counterinsurgencies

"With exceptionally crisp writing and sparkling erudition, Jennifer Terry paints a complex portrait of the nitty-gritty of American militarism, biomedicine, and bio-inequality. By showing how attachment to salvation underwrites the continued expendability of life, she makes an important intervention that will be felt in American studies, cultural studies, science and technology studies, and beyond. This book soars." — Michelle Murphy, author of The Economization of Life


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Price: $26.95

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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Jennifer Terry is Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of California, Irvine, the author of An American Obsession: Science, Medicine, and Homosexuality in Modern Society, and coeditor of Processed Lives: Gender and Technology in Everyday Life and Deviant Bodies: Critical Perspectives on Difference in Science and Popular Culture.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Abbreviations  ix
Acknowledgments  xi
Introduction  1
1. The Biomedicine-War Nexus  27
2. Promises of Polytrauma: On Regenerative Medicine  53
3. We Can Enhance You: On Bionic Prosthetics  89
4. Pathogenic Threats: On Pharmaceutical War Profiteering  140
Epilogue  180
Notes  189
Bibliography  217
Index  239
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-6980-6 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-6968-4
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