Responding to Linda Nash’s elegy for the ecological body in Inescapable Ecologies, this essay turns to the alimentary canal to theorize the fecological body. Whereas the ecological body focuses on the body in space, fecological bodies portray the body as space. This essay theorizes such spaces through two short texts from the early twentieth century that are set within bodies: Mark Twain’s “Three Thousand Years Among the Microbes” and George Chappell’s Through the Alimentary Canal with Gun and Camera. These narratives depict the human as simultaneously character and setting in order to decenter the anthropocentricism inherent to bodily openness that only emanates outward rather than inward as well. Informed by a contemporary scatological lens, the spatiality inherent to the fecological body offers a promising way to account for the symbiosis of the human microbiome as a heterotopic influence on embodied identities.


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pp. 55-76
Launched on MUSE
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