By Carrie Noland
In Agency and Embodiment, Carrie Noland examines the ways that tradition is either embodied and challenged during the corporeal functionality of gestures. Arguing opposed to the constructivist metaphor of physically inscription dominant given that Foucault, Noland continues that kinesthetic event, produced by means of acts of embodied gesturing, locations strain at the conditioning a physique gets, encouraging diversifications in cultural perform that can't rather be defined.
Drawing on paintings in disciplines as diversified as dance and circulate concept, phenomenology, cognitive technology, and literary feedback, Noland argues that kinesthesia―feeling the physique move―encourages test, amendment, and, every now and then, rejection of the regimen. Noland privileges corporeal functionality and the sensory event it presents with the intention to give you the option past constructivist theory’s lack of ability to supply a powerful account of employer. She observes that regardless of the impression of social conditioning, humans proceed to invent incredible new methods of changing the inscribed behaviors they're referred to as directly to practice. via lucid shut readings of Marcel Mauss, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, invoice Viola, André Leroi-Gourhan, Henri Michaux, Judith Butler, Frantz Fanon, Jacques Derrida, and modern electronic artist Camille Utterback, Noland illustrates her provocative thesis, addressing problems with difficulty to students in serious thought, functionality reports, anthropology, and visible studies.
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Extra resources for Agency and Embodiment: Performing Gestures Producing Culture
However, Mauss began to complicate Durkheim’s principle by suggesting that the order of the organic itself is not pure and discrete. If the physical body could be inﬂuenced in its most seemingly autonomous mechanisms by social pressures, then it made no sense to separate psychology from sociology, or sociology from physiology, for that matter. Sociology, as an approach, could invade the entire spectrum of human sciences, just as the social penetrated every layer of human being. As Mauss argues in “Real and Practical Relations between Psychology and Sociology” (“Rapports réels et pratiques de la psychologie et de la sociologie,” 1924), the barriers between the disciplines are artiﬁcially constructed, and thus the knowledges they engender are necessarily ﬂawed.
It demands that both “sacriﬁant” and community revive a kinesthetic memory and it sets that memory into a narrative, a chain of events, through which it becomes signiﬁcant in a new way. What makes the ritual so compelling, and the belief system incarnated in it so strong, is that it mobilizes the mnemonic and kinesthetic force of one of the most universal default positions in human experience: that which is assumed, of necessity, in the womb. The fetal position is not simply associated with death and rebirth because a society assigns it—arbitrarily—this semiotic function; the fetal position triggers all sorts of memories—of safety, of vulnerability, of beginning and end— that are as rooted in anatomical realities as they are in social codes.
In essays such as “Funerary Rites in India” (“Les rites funéraires dans l’Inde ancienne”) and “Vedic Ritual Literature” (“Littérature rituelle védique”) Mauss responds with enthusiasm to accounts of the Vedic texts. The discipline of Indology, he believes, beneﬁts from a more robust documentation of the culture under consideration; Vedas, Brahmanas, and Sutras contain detailed descriptions not only of beliefs, myths, and prayers but also of ritual acts, the sequences of enchained gestures accompanying the verbal forms.
Agency and Embodiment: Performing Gestures Producing Culture by Carrie Noland