Language and Movement
184 | CCN: 26509
Instructor: Marianne Constable
Tues. 12:00 – 2:00PM, 2401 Bancroft; Thurs. 12:00 – 2:00PM, 7415 Dwinelle ///
How does one become more aware of oneself as a mover, doer, learner, knower? Does one learn to do things with language – to read, to write, even to think – in the same ways as one learns to move? This studio-seminar course engages with these sorts of questions through experiences with and responses to basic movement lessons, through academic readings about embodiment, and through writing and discussion.
The seminar meets twice a week. The basic aim is for you to become more aware of the way you move and the way you use language and, through this awareness, to become more skilled at what you want to say and do. The aspiration is not only to become aware of how you do the things you do, but also to reflect on how this awareness can serve you well in coming to know – or to learn about – the world we inhabit.
On the first day of the week (Tuesday), we meet in a studio and students will do a movement lesson (roughly an hour long and generally drawn from Feldenkrais Method ® Awareness-through-Movement (ATM) lessons). After a 5-minute break, we will discuss the lesson and short readings or videos tailored to your interests and experiences.
On the second day (Thursday), we meet in a seminar room where we will focus on more substantial academic readings relating language, bodies, and action. Themes will include awareness, observation (of self, others, and environment), expressiveness, and learning.
Attention in the movement portion of the class will be on oneself in place/space; breath; ease, timing, and range of movement; use of the self and self-image; voice; repetition and rest. Additional themes to be covered in the more academic portion of the course will include: habit, intention, and strain; perception, observation, imagination; the “mind-body problem”; and discipline (and its discontents). Discussions will integrate attention to bodily movement and language with analysis and interpretation of assigned readings, videos, and short writings by students.
No prior formal movement training is required. If you do have any particular background or interest in performance or somatics (music, dance, sports, yoga, etc), you will be encouraged to reflect in part on your training and experience.
REQUIREMENTS include attendance and participation in movement classes and discussion (see NOTE below), keeping a journal, reading and viewing homework, regular writing assignments (of 1 to 5 pages), attendance at a dance performance.
READINGS, required and recommended, will be available at the campus bookstore or in a reader (reader contents will also be posted in “Files” on the campus b-Course site, https://bcourses.berkeley.edu). Readings range from relatively grounded texts about language or rhetoric (Art Quinn, Figures of Speech; J.L. Austin, How to Do Things with Words) and movement (Calais-Germaine, Anatomy of Movement; Anatomy of Breathing; Feldenkrais, Awareness through Movement) to selections from Foucault, Krafel, Kranz (The Chair); Kuriyama (The Expressiveness of the Body and the Divergence of Greek and Chinese Medicine), Nietzsche, Noe, Suzuki, and more.
NOTE: This upper-division class is intended for juniors and seniors in all majors, who are given priority for pre-enrollment. Attendance and participation is required throughout the semester. Students who are enrolled but do not attend for the first 6 classes will be dropped in favor of students who do attend and participate.
*** This class will count for the History and Theory Concentration.