Researching the body


A 3 minute intro to trans-disciplinary research into embodiment from MODE (I’m hoping to get to some of their fantastic training events soon):

Originally posted on MODE Blog:

Authors: Carey Jewitt & Sara Price

The mode seminar on embodiment and digital technologies (03.04.14) drew an interesting interdisciplinary group together. The word cloud made from the three key words that each of the participants used to introduce themselves shows something of this mix.

word cloud embodiment

As one of the participants commented, embodiment draws together people from across a wide range of disciplines – at this particular event from sociology, art, performance, psychology, media and communication studies, literacy and education studies, human computer interaction, design, and architecture.

We explored what is meant by embodiment (embodied cognition), drawing on some theoretical ideas around the body being the ‘hub of all meaning making’ (Merleau Ponty, 1945), highlighting cognition as enacted (through sensori-motor/ action); embedded (through beingness in the environment and social and cultural contexts); and extended (through notions of offloading cognition/ manipulation/ transformation; and finally the idea of an ‘amalgamated mind’ (Rowland, 2010), where…

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PhD Studentship: the human body as nexus for performing arts and medicine

The proposed project will investigate, through practice-based research, the reciprocal relationship between the life sciences/medicine and contemporary visual/performing arts as it is constructed, perceived, negotiated or performed at the nexus of physical and conceptual human bodies.

At the heart of the project will be innovative forms of interdisciplinary (possibly collaborative) research, where the body in its’ real or imagined state – from cell sample to living patient or cadaver – is the central focus. The project will negotiate the creative possibilities of the intersection between activities and persons in different fields. Practice-based research, which utilises the participatory, interactive approach theorised, as ‘relational aesthetics’ by Bourriaud may be most relevant here, though no particular media is prescribed.

Research proposals with collaborators/collaborating institutions in place are welcomed, or can be built as part of the project. Every effort will be made to facilitate relationships with appropriate Departments across the University and beyond, utilising the networks of the supervisory team.

The research will be situated within emergent Fine Art research group ‘The Cultural Negotiation of Science’ which includes staff working with experts in Fundamental and Biomedical Science, Genetics and Physical Geography, whose common concerns include the foregrounding of practice and performativity across the disciplines, challenging the instrumentalisation of art in cross-disciplinary collaboration, and exploring the perceived ethical ‘values’ guiding both art and science.

The wider contemporary visual art context includes the existing field of art/science collaboration, which the project should aim to extend/challenge.
Relevant also are cross-disciplinary networks in Arts & Health, the second wave of “Critical Medical Humanities”, the interdisciplinary fields of Death Studies and Collections – based research.

The researcher will benefit from a base amongst the Fine Art, Post Graduate community at BALTIC 39 ( established through the partnership between Northumbria University and the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art.

Enquiries regarding this studentship should be made to:

Applicants should hold a first or upper second class honours degree (in a relevant subject) from a British higher education institution, or equivalent. Students who are not UK/EU residents are eligible to apply, provided they hold the relevant academic qualifications, together with an IELTS score of at least 6.5.

To apply, contact Andrea Percival to request the appropriate application form, quoting the advert reference above, via email to or by using the application link on this page.

Deadline for applications: 14 April 2014
Start Date: 7 October 2014

More info at

CFP: Intersectionality and Technologies of the Musical Body

Many thanks to Dr Trevor Wiggins for passing this on.

Dear Colleagues,

As the deadline for SEM 2014 approaches, I am putting together a panel of paper presentations that deal with intersectionality studies in ethnomusicology with an emphasis on dance and musical movement and video that allows us to discuss issues of race, gender, sexuality and desire (among other things) in ethnographic research on and off-line.

Papers will include one by Ari Ben Mosha Gagné (Univ. of Colorado at Boulder) looking at twerking, booty-shaking and p-poppin among women as well as men in bounce music culture.  I will be presenting on research on black girls twerking on YouTube, research I introduced in my SEM 2013 presentation (thanks for all who attended). I am currently writing about my research on my blog

The panel will also focus attention on the technologies of the musical body in the study of systems of oppression and/or social change relative to self-presentation and the generalized other from a sociological perspective. Presenters are strongly encouraged to use video or actual live dancing.

This is envisioned as a panel akin to the queering the pitch discourse that embraces intersectionalism in ethnomusicological studies. If you think your work fits, send it for consideration to Digital ethnomusicology studies are strongly encouraged.

Must hear from you by Jan 31 to prepare the proposals for submission.

Thank you,

Kyra Gaunt