The ’material turn’ in critical theory - and particularly the turn towards the body coupled with scientific insights from biomedicine, biology and physics - is becoming an important path in fields of humanities-based scholarly inquiry. Material and technological philosophies play an increasingly central role in disciplines such as literary studies, cultural studies, history, performance and aesthetics, to name only a few. This edited collection of essays investigates how the material turn finds applications within humanities-based frameworks - focusing on practical reflections and disciplinary responses. It takes as its critical premise the understanding that importation of theoretical viewpoints is never straightforward; rather, a complex, sometimes even fraught, communication takes place between these disciplines at the imperceptible lines where praxis and theory meet, transforming both the landscape of practical engagement and the models of material theory. Presenting a multi- and interdisciplinary consideration of current research on the cultural relationship to living (and non-living) bodies, Corporeality and Culture: Bodies in Movement puts the body in focus. From performance and body modification to film, literature and other cultural technologies, this volume undertakes a significant speculative mapping of the current possibilities for engagement, transformation and variance of embodied movement in relation to scientifically-situated corporealities and materialities in cultural and artistic practices. Time and time again, it finds these ever-shifting modes of being to be inextricably interdependent and coextensive: movement requires embodiment; and embodiment is a form of movement.
"This integration work, undoubtedly necessary in the face of the sheer diversity of methodologies, disciplinary emphases, and themes, certainly pays off. Corporeality and Culture serves as a useful primer for readers wishing to take in the impressive breadth and depth of contemporary approaches to corporeality, while it also updates experts on fresh lines of inquiry developed by an eclectic and international group of scholars."
Doreen Thierauf, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in British Society for Literature and Science