Freakery: Cultural Spectacles of the Extraordinary Body

This anthology looks at how humans, particularly those with ‘physical anomalies’, have been publicly exhibited for entertainment and profit throughout history. Apparently even in pharaonic Egypt dwarfs resided in the households of statesmen to provide entertainment and distraction from the burdensome duties of office. In ancient Greece birth defects were viewed as divine warnings of the future or past transgressions, while in the Middle Ages they were seen as examples of the wrath of God – “forms of divine punishment meted out to individuals, communities, or even nations” (Grosz 1996, p 57). Continue reading “Freakery: Cultural Spectacles of the Extraordinary Body”