The History of Pubic Hair or Reviewers Responses to Terry Eagleton’s After Theory.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterpeer-review


Reviewers' responses to Terry Eagleton's After Theory have, in part, been concerned with a comment made in the introduction: ‘Not all students are blind to the Western narcissism involved in working on the history of pubic hair while half the world's population lacks adequate sanitation and survives on less than two dollars a day.’ This chapter examines the reviewers' responses to this quotation and argues that Eagleton is using wit and exaggeration as a means to shift perception rather than to give evidence. It also asserts that the reviewers are as much revealing something of their own assumptions about hair, gender and politics, as an understanding of Eagleton's arguments in After Theory. The Eagleton pubic hair quotation is reminiscent of another one, the debate around which is discussed by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick. What a comparison of the After Theory reviews to the Sedgwick makes clear is that both masturbation and pubic hair are about sexuality itself. The notions embedded in the Eagleton quotation are also reminiscent of Sigmund Freud's The Medusa's Head.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Last Taboo: Women and Body Hair
EditorsKarin Lesnik-Oberstein
PublisherManchester University Press
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9780719075001
Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2007


  • body hair
  • pubic hair
  • Terry Eagleton
  • Sedgwick


Dive into the research topics of 'The History of Pubic Hair or Reviewers Responses to Terry Eagleton’s After Theory.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this