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Leaky bodies & the gendering of Candida experiences

Faculty Advisor




illness, yeast-related disorder, experiences with Candida, leaky female, male corporealities, Elizabeth Grosz, yeast, Candida, biomedical science, poststructural theories

Abstract (summary)

The medical case of Candida remains a highly contentious illness category within the boundaries of biomedical science. Following some of the wider interrogations posed by feminist poststructural theories of the body and of illness, my concern in this paper is not about whether Candida ‘actually’ exists. My concern in this paper is in exploring the production of gendered experiences with the yeast-related disorder of vague symptomatology. Based on a series of 24 semi-structured interviews, I attend to how people talk about their experiences with Candida and I read these experiences alongside wider feminist discourses concerning leaky female and contained male corporealities—most notably, though not exclusively, through Elizabeth Grosz’s (1994) analysis of men’s seminal fluids and women’s menstrual flows. Yeast, as read through the case of Candida, can be understood as gendered and gendering, particularly as it reinscribes dominant discourses concerning leaky female and contained male embodiments

Publication Information

Overend, A. (2011). Leaky bodies and the gendering of candida experiences, Women’s Health and Urban Life, 10 (2), 94 – 113.



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