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X-Ray (Object Lessons)

X-Ray (Object Lessons)

Current price: $14.95
Publication Date: July 25th, 2024
Bloomsbury Academic


Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things.

X-rays are powerful. Moving through objects undetected, revealing the body as a tryptic of skin, tissue, and bone. X-rays gave rise to a transparent world and the belief that transparency conveys truth. It stands to reason, then, that our relationship with X-rays would be a complicated one of fear and fascination, acceptance and resistance, confusion and curiosity.

In X-ray, Nicole Lobdell explores when, where, and how we use X-rays, what meanings we give them, what metaphors we make out of them, and why, despite our fears, we're still fascinated with them. In doing so, she draws from a variety of fields, including the history of medicine, science and technology studies, literature, art, material culture, film, comics, gender studies, architecture, and industrial design.

Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in The Atlantic.

About the Author

Nicole Lobdell is Assistant Professor of English at DePauw University, USA. She is the author of Bithia Mary Croker: Short Stories (forthcoming) and co-editor, with Nancee Reeves, of H. G. Wells's The Invisible Man (2018).