CfP: Methodologies for exploring embodiment and aesthetics


Special issue: Methodologies for exploring embodiment and aesthetics

Which types of methodologies can be applied to explore the aesthetic nature of embodied practices, habits, norms, and experiences? How can we examine the aesthetic realms of embodiment in detail—for example, in the arts, sports, politics, religion, health care, or everyday life? In which ways have various approaches––such as philosophical reflection, conceptual analysis, phenomenological reduction, pragmatic methods, experimental philosophy, thematic analysis, ethnography, or artistic practices––been used to address embodiment and aesthetics? What are the methodological difficulties of investigating somatic practices, especially their experiential dimensions? Is practice itself a methodology, and how can its experiential findings be validated academically?

Somatic practices and embodied reception are notoriously difficult to account for academically because neither physiological data nor philosophical theory can capture the experiential dimensions of embodied aesthetics.

For example, one of the founding ideas of somaesthetics is the inclusion of practice. Somaesthetics’ ameliorative ambition of self-fashioning cannot be accomplished as only an analytical and cognitive endeavor but needs practical somatic exercises. Somaesthetics, however, is still a part of academia—that is, somatic practice is not considered an accepted type of academic reflection but is converted into an object of analysis. One’s own somatic experiences are mostly seen as a context or background—and sometimes as empirical data if collected in a structured and consistent way—but not as a research activity in its own right.

Against this backdrop, we are interested in new methodological orientations that could contribute to studying the aesthetic aspects of the body and embodiment. We would also like to encourage the contributions of authors addressing these issues in their own research, even if not explicitly connected to the notion of somaesthetics.

The Journal of Somaesthetics invites proposals of academic papers, essays, and video articles from different fields of somatic practices, empirical research, art, and philosophy that want to shed light on and discuss the methodologies used in research of, through, and for the aesthetics of the body and embodied aesthetic experiences.

We also encourage discussions on the variety of objects, experiences, and research data that could serve as a basis for knowledge formation in this kind of study.

Possible topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The methodological function of somatic practice in aesthetic analysis;
  • The methodological function of theory and analysis for somatic practices;
  • The field of convergence and transformation between theoretical abstraction and the concreteness and singularity of practice and experience;
  • The influence and validity of one’s own experiences for aesthetic analysis and theory development;
  • The variety of materials and methods for investigating the embodied aesthetic ideals, norms, habits, and experiences of a defined group of people;
  • The issues of power, agency, and accessibility linked to aesthetic practices and the body;
  • The comparative analysis of theories and methods from different fields, such as philosophy, sociology, feminist theory, disability studies, art studies, etc., applied in the study of somatic practices;
  • The development of the field of somaesthetics not only as a philosophy that analytically explores somatic practices and values but also as a potential theoretical-methodological basis for empirical research on embodiment.

The Journal of Somaesthetics is a peer-reviewed, online, academic 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), practice and realization. The term somaesthetics designates an interdisciplinary framework rather than a philosophical position. It deals, on the one hand, with the aesthetic experience of the body as a practice proper and, on the other hand, with the academic conceptualization of the experiencing body and the body experienced; it approaches the body as the mediating center between sensory experiences and cognitive realization. Somaesthetics describes an integrative field of research where aesthetic experiences meet theories about the body and its biological structures and functions, its phenomenological and epistemological functions, and its position and significances in culture and societies.

For more information about the journal, see


Deadline for articles:              July 1, 2023

Peer-reviews back:                 Sept. 15, 2023

Deadline for final articles:      Nov. 1, 2023

Publishing:                              Vinter, 2023


Papers should be between 5,000 and 8,000 words and prepared for blind review, according to the Journal’s style guidelines as indicated on the Journal’s website:

Proposed complete articles will be submitted through the link above. Authors should submit a separate cover page indicating the author’s name, institutional affiliation, paper title and abstract, word count, keywords, and contact information.


Falk Heinrich

Anne Tarvainen