RMeS Electives: Corporeal Literacy (Utrecht University)

When? Block 4 (23 April 2018 – 29 June 2018)
Where? Utrecht University
More information and registration

In this course, we will focus on movement and gesture as aspects of how we are corporeally literate that have for a long time been neglected in accounts of embodied meaning making but are currently gaining more prominence as the result of technological developments (movement becoming more and more part of what can be detected and shared by media as well as of ways of using media and interacting with them) and also the emergence of embodied, embedded and enactive understandings of perception and cognition. During the meetings we will discuss a panorama of historical and contemporary approaches to movement and gesture in relation to questions of (among others) affect, emotion, experience, spatiality, and memory. Students are invited to explore the potential of these readings for the analysis of encounters with objects, events and situations of different kinds.

Literacy often gets associated with words, with verbal language and books, but can also describe other reading skills, as, for example, in visual literacy. Corporeal literacy is a strategic term meant to make space for a further expansion of the notion of literacy to include our bodily engagement with what we find ourselves confronted with. New technological developments as well as increased insight in the performative, material, embodied, and enactive aspects of perception and cognition foreground the corporeal dimensions of how humans handle information and make sense of what they encounter. These developments require a reconsideration of our conceptions of (among others) perception, agency, and what it means to know, beyond the disembodied mind. Furthermore, our current situation in which technology plays an ever more prominent and active role in how things can be perceived and come to be known requires a rethinking the embodiment of cognition and intelligence beyond the human. This course explores the potential of new materialist, media archeological, posthuman performative, enactive and embodied approaches for the analysis and interpretation of encounters with media and performances of different kinds.

Career orientation:
The course trains skills in critical reading and analysis of media, art and performance objects and allows students to develop rhetorical argumentation, which can be applied to a variety of professional fields (cultural institutions, academia, education, etc.)

NOTE: This is not an RMeS core activity but an elective announced on this site solely for  your information. You should register for this course through the university that offers it, and the credits you will earn will also be given out by that university. If your program includes a requirement to earn credits from a national research school, the credits for this elective do not count towards that requirement. You may need to acquire the permission of your programme coordinator and/or board of examinations in order to participate and earn credits for this elective.