Seeking a third panelist for session proposal “Kinesthetics Visualized: Posture, Gesture, and Movement in 20th-century Visual Culture,” to be submitted to the American Studies Association, for the ASA’s annual conference in Albuquerque, NM, October 16-19, 2008.
This session explores the roles of physical culture and habitus in American visual culture between approximately 1880 and 1950. In the last fifteen years scholars of American visual culture have paid close attention to the manner in which physical appearance impacts social identity, while those who study the historically-determined nature of the body rely on visual evidence and engage with Foucauldian analyses of how vision shapes corporeal subjectivity. One aspect of this phenomenon has received relatively little attention during this period: physical movement. Characterized by willful bodily motion and positioning through muscles and joints, the kinesthetic sense allows us to comprehend our bodies without vision. Shaped by habit and environment, the kinesthetics of human subject and viewer are culturally and socially specific, a dynamic Pierre Bourdieu has called “habitus.”
We seek papers focusing on images and imaging techniques in which the represented human bodies are determined by—or comment upon—athletics, calisthenics, gymnastics, dance, oratorical gestures, and physical labor. Especially welcome are proposals that consider physical culture and habitus in multicultural and transnational contexts. Please submit a 1-page abstract and CV by January 15, 2008 to Robin Veder, Penn State Harrisburg, at email@example.com. All ranks and disciplinary backgrounds welcome, as are informal inquiries.
Robin Veder, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Humanities, Art History, and Visual Culture
School of Humanities
Penn State Harrisburg
777 West Harrisburg Pike
Middletown, PA 17057-4898
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