# HISTORY /// The Body as a Terrain of Experiments: Medicine and Vile Bodies According to Grégoire Chamayou

Very interesting discussion of Grégoire Chamayou’s first book – Les corps vils : Expérimenter sur les êtres humains aux XVIIIe et XIXe siècles.

The Funambulist


As announced in the previous article about the “thanatopolitics of death penalty,” I will propose a review of the book Les corps vils : Expérimenter sur les êtres humains aux XVIIIe et XIXe siècles (Vile Bodies: Experimenting on Human Beings in the 18th and 19th Centuries) written by Grégoire Chamayou (see past article) and published in 2008 (La Découverte). This book has not been translated into English yet and I am happy to propose a clumsy translation of a few excerpts in this article in order to share a little of its content to a broader audience than the francophone one. The original excerpts in French are included at the end of this article.

The subtitle of the book is explicit about the content of the research. In the Foucaldian tradition of drawing philosophical arguments through the precise examination of history, Chamayou investigates the role of medicine in…

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