1st Edition

Kinesic Intelligence in the Humanities

Edited By Guillemette Bolens Copyright 2024
    210 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This research collection showcases how kinesic intelligence is fundamental to human communication and our ability to produce complex meaning, exploring its manifestations across a range of humanities disciplines, and connecting our past with our social and cultural future.

    The book defines kinesic intelligence as a higher-order intellectual competence that allows human beings to interact and grow cognitively and intersubjectively through sensorimotricity and interpersonal movement. Understood in this way, kinesic intelligence can offer insights into the development of humans’ meaning-making abilities and, in turn, society and culture more broadly. Recognizing the power of the humanities in furthering sociocultural development, the collection features perspectives from scholars across a range of topics, including the multimodality of language acquisition in children; young adults in clinical psychology and medical humanities; nonverbal communication in history; legal language and reasoning; literature and cognitive studies; the internet and multispecies anthropology; and sensoriality in history and art.

    Foregrounding the impact of the humanities in promoting new understandings of human intelligence, this volume will be of interest to scholars in cognitive legal and literary studies, multimodality, anthropology, history, medical humanities, and those with an interest in the real-world impact of the humanities.



    List of Contributors


    Introduction: What is Kinesic Intelligence?

    Guillemette Bolens


    Chapter 1: The Role of Kinesic Intelligence in Child Language Development

                  Aliyah Morgenstern


    Chapter 2: Kinesic Intelligence in the Care Relationship: The Contribution of Clinical Psychology to Healthcare Provided to Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer

                  Élise Ricadat


    Chapter 3: Kinesic Intelligence and Historical Research: Gestural Communication at the Court of Henry VIII

                  Greg Walker


    Chapter 4: Kinesic Intelligence in Common Law Reasoning

                  Maksymilian Del Mar


    Chapter 5: Reading as Embodied Simulation: Literary Techniques and Intersubjective Collaboration

                  Paul B. Armstrong


    Chapter 6: Why Love a Cat? An Anthropology of Human–Feline Kinesic Engagement On- and Off-line

                  Ellen Hertz


    Chapter 7: Material Scent: Textiles beyond Touch

                  Jessica Hemmings









    Guillemette Bolens is Professor of Medieval and Comparative Literature at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. She is the author of several books, including The Style of Gestures: Embodiment and Cognition in Literary Narrative (Johns Hopkins UP, 2012) and Kinesic Humor: Literature, Embodied Cognition, and the Dynamics of Gesture (OUP, 2021). Her work has been published in Poetics Today, Cahiers de narratologie, Studia Neophilologica, and Cogent Arts & Humanities.