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Findings from November Embodiment Workshop

As a result of our November embodiment workshop, which focused specifically on the nature and meaning of embodied experience, we posted a question to surface early-stage findings from scholar collaborators:

What's coming clear about embodied experience?
* There are different types of embodied experiences that we can learn to recognize and inhabit.
* There is richness in embodied life - the knowledge of the body is very complicated.
* Embodiment is complicated. Mind is complicated. We treat embodiment as a simple thing.
In whose interest is it to make it simple?
* There is not your embodiment and my embodiment. There are worlds and worlds and layers and layers of embodiment
* Habitual states of embodiment become so familiar that we presume that they represent the full breadth of embodied experience
* We are not discovering the body for the first time. We've had life with a body, but no permission to have bodies in certain contexts (like academia)
* All states of embodiment are expressed at once - historical/personal/cultural/family as well as intellectual/conceptual
* We rarely get the opportunity to keep our somatosensory experience in the foreground as we make knowledge
* We’re not discovering the body for the first time. We’ve had life with body but no permission to have bodies in certain contexts like academia. We haven’t thought about embodied life in a comprehensive way like other things
* There are strong connections in this work to the erotic and feminine, making it fraught with risk for the academic world


I am reading once again one of the juiciest somatics texts of the 20th C, Maurice Merleau-Ponty's "The Intertwining—The Chiasm," one of his last writings. It has inspired so many of us and provides the central theme of David Abrams' wonderful book the spell of the sensuous. It is brief and I highly recommend it for your seminar. Best to you all, Don