Bedford Branch Seminar
This event is free.
Tickets are available here.
In this session, we’ll be offering some tentative, speculative arguments regarding the cultural significance of the body and, more broadly, embodiment; and we will attempt to think through some of the educational implications of the issues we raise. The presentation will be unapologetically wide-ranging - a composite, perhaps even chimerical, body of work whose parts are, nevertheless, sutured together by a single argumentative thread: the body and embodiment have been largely overlooked in educational philosophy (and, it might be added, the western philosophical tradition generally). Even, we will argue, certain discourses of embodied learning, though they aim to restore the body to the classroom, too often put the flesh-and-blood body under erasure, leaving us with little more than situated but disembodied mind.
We will locate our discussion initially in a critique - not an outright rejection - of physical literacy (the emergence of which has historic ties to the University of Bedfordshire) and its use of Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy of the body. From there, we will touch upon a number of examples of the multiple significances of the body: changing iconographies of the sexualized body (“the folds of the flesh”); the meaning of touch; the phenomenology of canoeing and stone-lifting.