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Autopsy as a site and mode of inquiry: de/composing the ghoulish hu/man gaze

Carey, N and Fairchild, N and Taylor, C and Koro, M and Elmenhorst, C and Benozzo, A (2021) Autopsy as a site and mode of inquiry: de/composing the ghoulish hu/man gaze. Qualitative Research. ISSN 1468-7941

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Abstract

For centuries the autopsy has been a key technology in Western culture for generating clinical/medical as well as cultural knowledge about bodies. This article hails the anato-medical autopsy as a generative trope and apparatus in reconfiguring Western humanist knowledge of bodies and bodies of knowledge and takes up the possibilities of working with the concept of autopsy in disrupting qualitative research methodology. In doing so, the article outlines and returns (to) a series of research-creation experiments assembled at an academic conference, which engaged with the challenges for social science knowledge laid out by Law’s (2004) After Method book. Our research-creation experiments centred autopsy as a theoretical-methodological gaze and apparatus for de-composing qualitative research methodology by engaging with post-humanist and new material feminist thinking.

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