The Journal of Somaesthetics is a peer-reviewed, online, academic research journal devoted to research that advances the interdisciplinary field of somaesthetics, understood as the critical study and meliorative cultivation of the experience and performance of the living body (or soma) as a site of sensory appreciation (aesthesis) and creative self-stylization. The journal therefore welcomes contributions exploring the field of somaesthetics through one -or more- of the many disciplines that already inform this field: philosophy, aesthetics, arts and design research, technology studies, somatic, health, and social sciences, history, physiology, psychology and pedagogy.
The Journal of Somaesthetics will be published twice a year, and each issue will be principally structured on a particular theme or topic. Supported by a distinguished multidisciplinary and international editorial board of advisors,
The Journal of Somaesthetics is edited by Else-Marie Bukdahl (Denmark), Richard Shusterman (USA), Stahl Stenslie (Denmark/Norway).
# Somaesthetics and Food (Vol. 2, Nos. 1 and 2 (2016))
# Somaesthetics and Visual Art (Vol. 1, No1 (2015))
# Somaesthetics and Bodies of Belief (Upcoming)
# Somaesthetics and Technology (Upcoming)
What is Somaesthetics?
Somaesthetics is an interdisciplinary research product devoted to the critical study and meliorative cultivation of the experience and use of the living body (or soma) as a site of sensory appreciation (aesthesis) and creative self-stylization. An ameliorative discipline of both theory and practice, somaesthetics seeks to enrich not only our discursive knowledge of the body but also our lived somatic experience and performance; it aims to improve the meaning, understanding, efficacy, and beauty of our movements and of the environments to which our actions contribute and from which they also derive their energies and significance. To pursue these aims, somaesthetics is concerned with a wide diversity of knowledge forms, discourses, social practices and institutions, cultural traditions and values, and bodily disciplines that structure (or could improve) such somatic understanding and cultivation, and it is therefore an interdisciplinary project, in which theory and practice are closely connected and reciprocally nourish each other. It is not limited to one theoretical field, academic or professional vocabulary, cultural ideology, or particular set of bodily disciplines. Rather it aims to provide an overarching theoretical structure and a set of basic and versatile conceptual tools to enable a more fruitful interaction and integration of the very diverse forms of somatic knowledge currently being practiced and pursued. There is an impressive, even overwhelming abundance of discourse about the body in many disciplines of contemporary theory and commercial enterprise. But such somatic discourse typically lacks two important features. First, a structuring overview or architectonic that could integrate their very different discourses into a more productively coherent or interrelated field. It would be useful to have a broad framework (which does not mean a unified, highly consistent system) that could connect, for example, the discourse of biopolitics to the therapies of bioenergetics, the neuroscience of hand gestures to their aesthetic meaning in Nõ theater. The second feature lacking in most academic discourse on embodiment is a clear pragmatic orientation — something that the individual can clearly employ or apply to his or her life in terms of disciplines of improved somatic practice. Somaesthetics offers a way to address both these deficiencies.
CFP 2017 International Conference
CFP 2017 International Conference
Bodies in the Streets: Somaesthetics of City Life
Call for Papers: Bodies of Belief / Bodies of Care
Bodies of Belief:
Human bodies are shaped not only by their genetic endowment but also by the belief systems of the cultures in which they develop and function. Such belief systems vary from unarticulated background assumptions to ritualized practices and explicit doctrines or even to formulated laws enacted and enforced by social institutions. Likewise, belief’s somatic shaping ranges widely from the stylization of external appearance (including clothing and ornamentation) to the structuring of bodily actions and comportment (including essential practices like eating) and even to inner modes of affect (which are felt somatically). The beliefs that the human soma embodies and expresses are not confined to established social norms; they also include items of faith and commitment that are individualistic, nonconformist, or even antagonistic to the cultural mainstream. More than a mere instrument of compliance or worship, the soma is also a site and weapon of protest.
Bodies of Care:
Bodies are obviously the targets of one’s daily care in terms of personal hygiene, grooming, exercise, and proper nourishment. They are also objects of care in the sense of worry or concern, since we all suffer illness and death through our bodies. However, the sentient, purposive, active body or soma is also a subjectivity that examines and cares for the body as object, whether it be one’s own body or the bodies of others who one wants to help or comfort. We all need such curative help or comfort at some point in our lives; and some people devote their professional and personal lives to giving such care. Bodies need and give care in many ways and for many reasons: to overcome illness and disability, to address and alleviate dependence, to learn new skills and remedy bad habits, to inspire greater confidence for personal flourishing and greater social betterment.
Abstracts of 250 words, and a current CV, should be sent electronically as attachments to Richard Shusterman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bodies of Belief: Somaesthetics of Faith and Protest
|The Center for Body, Mind, and Culture invites proposals for papers to be presented at a 3-day conference, January 29–31, 2015, at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton.|