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Thursday August 4 2022, 1pm BST

In Defence of the Unmodified Body with Clare Chambers

Our bodies are never good enough. And the social pressures to change them are overwhelming. We strive to defy ageing, build our biceps and conceal our quirks. Surrounded by filtered photos and surgically-enhanced features, we feel we must contort our physical selves to accepted standards of beauty. Perfection is impossible, and even an acceptable body seems out of reach.

But do we have to accept these pressures? That’s the question that philosopher Clare Chambers will be exploring when she comes to Intelligence Squared to talk about the themes of her new book Intact: A Defence of the Unmodified Body. Chambers will explain that these pressures are not only discriminatory in terms of age, race, gender and disability, but the very idea that some sorts of bodies need to be changed is a denial of their basic equality or moral worth. Through stories about ‘nearly nude’ makeup, male circumcision, the rigours of body-building and disastrous cosmetic surgery, Chambers will challenge many of our assumptions about what the ‘natural’ or ‘normal’ body is. And while defending our right to change our bodies, she will argue that ‘when virtually everyone feels bad about their bodies, the bodies are not the problem. It is time to reclaim the value of the unmodified body.’

Join us on August 4 and learn what it might take for us to accept that our bodies are good enough.

Praise for Clare Chambers’ Intact: A Defence of the Unmodified Body:

A pleasure to read because it’s packed with new (to me) information and ideas and so absorbingly readable.A must-read for psychotherapists, doctors and everyone else who enjoys connecting ideas‘ – Philippa Perry

‘Compassionate and challenging, warmly human and coolly rigorous… I am now thinking afresh about how I live in my own body, in a world where, as Clare Chambers argues, nobody’s body is ever allowed to be good enough, just as it is‘ – Timandra Harkness

Book Bundles (UK ONLY)

Book bundles include one ticket for the online debate, plus a copy of Intact: A Defence of the Unmodified Body by Clare Chambers  with free UK P&P. Books will be posted within 1-2 weeks of the event finishing. Click here to purchase a book bundle.

Free: Coming of Age at the End of History (Hardback)

 

Event Name

In Defence of the Unmodified Body with Clare Chambers


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Speaker
  • Clare Chambers

    Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of Cambridge and author of Intact: A Defence of the Unmodified Body

Chair
  • Shahidha Bari

    Writer, academic and broadcaster


Location
  • Online event
Time
  • Thursday 4 August 2022
  • 1pm to 2pm BST



Speakers

Speaker

Clare Chambers

Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of Cambridge and author of Intact: A Defence of the Unmodified Body


Professor of Political Philosophy and a Fellow of Jesus College, University of Cambridge. She specializes in feminism, bioethics, contemporary liberalism and theories of social justice. She is the author of Against Marriage and her new book is Intact: A Defence of the Unmodified Body
Chair

Shahidha Bari

Writer, academic and broadcaster


Professor of Fashion Cultures and Histories at London College of Fashion at the University of the Arts London, and a Fellow of the Forum for Philosophy at the London School of Economics. She is a regular presenter of the BBC Radio 3's Arts and Ideas programme, Free Thinking, and an occasional presenter of BBC Radio 4's Front Row and Saturday Review. She contributes to Aeon, The Financial Times, Frieze art magazine, The Guardian, The Observer, The Times Literary Supplement and other publications. She is the author of Dressed: The Secret Life of Clothes.