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Emotional BodiesThe Historical Performativity of Emotions$
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Dolores Martín-Moruno and Beatriz Pichel

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042898

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042898.001.0001

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Fearful Female Bodies

Fearful Female Bodies

The Pétroleuses of the Paris Commune

(p.175) 8. Fearful Female Bodies
Emotional Bodies

Dolores Martín-Moruno

University of Illinois Press

By combining emotion and gender histories, this study analyzes the affective economy of fear ruling during the Paris Commune and its aftermath. This focus allows us to examine the creation of female collectives, such as the pétroleuses: the revolutionary women accused of having organized the fires that devastated the French capital during the bloody week. Although there was no evidence about their involvement in this episode, they became the evilest enemy in the eye of the public. Taking Louise Michel’s testimonies as starting point, this chapter analyses abjection as a practice that situated the female revolutionary body outside the borders of civilization. A comparison of past and present terrorist bodies allows us to think about the powers of fear for the creation of fictional enemies.

Keywords:   Affective Politics of Fear, Abjection, Performativity, Gender History, Paris Commune, Incendiary Women, Terrorism

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