The Craft of Writing
R1B-002 | CCN: 24411
Embodied Knowledge, a Decolonial Option for Theories of Knowledge
Instructor: Kuan Hwa
M/W/F 12:00 – 1:00 PM, Dwinelle 209 ///
In colloquial English, sensory modalities sometimes serve as metaphors for understanding. "I see," colloquially means I understand. "I hear you," or "I feel you," means I understand you or I understand where you’re coming from. In addition to vision, audio, and tactility, what about kinesthesia? What about "I move…?"
According to the anthropologist Marcel Mauss, human movement forms the nucleus of a physical-psychical-social sense of personhood as habitus expressed in techniques of the body; for the phenomenologist Edmund Husserl movement is the primary activity of an embodied consciousness of the individual as s/he explores the world with others; Merleau-Ponty’s tacit cogito, advanced research in mirror-neurons, philosophical approaches to embodied cognition, and various intellectual, artistic, cultural, and medicinal practices of Oceania, Africa, Asia, and the Americas, has taught that ways of moving are in fact bodily ways of knowing.
This reading and composition course will increase your textual and sensory literacy, and improve your writing skills through a series of guided essays that will shift the geography of reason by turning conventional theories of knowledge towards a dialogue with the knowledge(s) of the body, with a specific focus on somatic practices, dance, gestures, sensorimotor techniques of the body, and intangible culture. In particular, our inquiry into how knowledge(s) are produced and what they mean for different authors will aim towards a synthesis between decolonial discourses and conceptions of embodied knowledge—the way that we know through moving, sensing, and by cultivating habits rather than by reasoning alone.
As an R1B course, we will have a research component that will utilize library resources and online archives.