Living Across and Through Skins

Living Across and Through Skins

Transactional Bodies, Pragmatism, and Feminism
Shannon Sullivan
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 03/22/2001
Format: Paperback 1 bibliog., 1 index
ISBN: 978-0-253-21440-9
Bookmark and Share

Other formats available:

Buy from Amazon


Explores the dynamic relationship between bodies and the world around them.

What if we lived across and through our skins as much as we do within them? According to Shannon Sullivan, the notion of bodies in transaction with their social, political, cultural, and physical surroundings is not new. Early in the 20th century, John Dewey elaborated human existence as a set of patterns of behavior or actions shaped by the environment. Underscoring the continued relevance of his thought, Sullivan brings Dewey into conversation with Continental philosophers—Nietzsche and Merleau-Ponty—and feminist philosophers—Butler and Harding—to expand thinking about the body. Emphasizing topics such as the role of habit, the discursivity of bodies, communication and meaning, personal and cultural structures of gender, the improvement of bodily experience, and understandings of truth and objectivity, Living Across and Through Skins acknowledges the importance of the body’s experience without placing it in opposition to psychological, cultural, and social aspects of human life. By focusing on what bodies do, rather than what they are, Sullivan prompts a closer look at concrete, physical transactions that might be changed to improve human experiences of the world.

Author Bio

Shannon Sullivan is Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Women's Studies at the Pennsylvania State University.


“"This is an important book for those interested in seeing how traditional philosophy can contribute to contemporary feminist theory." —Choice Engaging the pragmatism of John Dewey, as well as the work of various feminist, genealogical, and phenomenological philosophers, Shannon Sullivan presents an account of corporeal existence as transactional and an exploration of some of the social, political, ethical, and epistemological implications of transactional bodies.

“This is an important book for those interested in seeing how traditional philosophy can contribute to contemporary feminist theory.”
 — Choice

Customer Reviews

There are currently no reviews
Write a review on this title.

Table of Contents



1. Introduction: Transactional Bodies after Dewey
2. Living Across and Through Skins: Bodies in Transaction
3. Discursivity and Materiality: The Lived Experience of Transactional Bodies
4. Communicating with Another: Transaction and Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of Corporeal Existence
5. Reconfiguring Gender: Habit, Bodies, and Cultural Change
6. Transactional Somaesthetics: Nietzsche, Women, and the Transformation of Bodily Experience
7. Transactional Knowing: Toward a Pragmatist-Feminist Standpoint Theory
8. Conclusion: Transaction and the Distinctiveness of Races