This special issue traces representations of the body in twentieth and twenty-first century literature and visual culture from across the francophone world. The volume explores the ways in which bodies in all their forms can be deployed to challenge normative spaces and gazes across a range of geographical and cultural contexts. This introduction highlights contemporary responses to societal attempts to assert power over various bodies. It offers a conceptual overview of corporeality, discussing how thinkers and philosophers have viewed interactions between different bodies and their surrounding spaces. Finally, the introduction presents the essays, drawing out their connections to power and representation.