2014/FALL: Embodiment


Instructed by Julian Carter.
Affect, Archive, Exchange: Gesturing Toward Embodiment What are the pathways along which feelings travel from person to person? Why do some memories – both personal and cultural – lodge in our flesh? How do people incorporate objects into their felt sense of self, and how do available technologies extend and contract our experiences of bodily presence and intimacy? In what measure is the body the self, and where does our sense of self extend beyond our skin? Questions about affect, temporality and history, and the boundaries of the body drive an extraordinary critical conversation about corporeal existence. This seminar will engage work from performance studies, ethnic studies, dance history and theory, anthropology, visual studies, literary criticism, phenomenology, and rhetoric. Throughout we will view and discuss visual, performance-based, and literary arts that emerge from and/ or elaborate on the human body as site and as medium. Our emphasis will be on dynamic gestures: we will consider the body not only as object or image, but also as gesture and change, movement through time and space and relationships-the mobile architecture that lends its form to the self and the social world. Class meetings will focus on discussing critical texts in conversation with creative and embodied practices. Participants will sharpen their ability to see and think about bodies in motion; practice critical reading and oral presentation skills; and research and write a substantial essay on a topic of their choosing.