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Reconfiguring Corporeality in 21st Century

How would it be possible to think the reality of the mind, of the I-subject, without a lived body?

– Husserl

The Cartesian wedge drawn between body and mind/soul has introduced the discourse of disengagement between body and the world, and body as divided in-itself. The ‘modes of dwelling’ of this disengaged body designate its space within this setting; and the ethos of “dwelling” characterizes human existence first as a body situated within a particular space, and then through body’s perception of, and relation with, that space and other bodies within it. This post-cartesian fulcrum of disengaged body—while furnishing narratives of displaced body within cultural structures, history, and language in 20th century thought—solicits a spectrum of interpretation centred on the corporeal dimension of body such as embodiment, autonomous subjectivity, ontological primacy, humanistic value, posthumanist possibilities, etc. Beyond the surface of the skin, the ensuing debates on consciousness, subjectivity, and embodied relationality have formed the ground of what has come to be known as Body Studies. While one trajectory of thought privileges the concept of body’s disengagement with rational subjectivity, the other trajectory focusses upon the interconnected nature of body, self, other, and environment that encourages relations grounded in subjectivity, intersubjective experience, as well as structures of sociality. Co-constitutively, they shape the fabric of our existence in the lived experience of race, gender, class, and violence among others.

At the intersection of different historical periods, then, human body is the point of contact in our intersubjective world, and has been conceptualized through various studies in Anthropology, Medical Science, Sociology, Philosophy, Literature, etc. The recent onslaught of COVID-19 has transitioned the obviated experience of and through human body in numerous ways which, as a site of sensuous perceptions, now presages social and cultural interventions within different interpretive systems. To understand what we and our world is made of, body becomes the mutating space that functions as an interface, a site of technological growth, a model for aesthetic possibilities, as well as a challenge to anthropocentrism.

The idea of the knowing self, as conscious of things within and without is the domain of perception, expression, and meaning-making, where body as a site of our ideological framework can be problematised for enquiry into questions intersecting across embodiment, lived experience, Being, social awareness, and subjecthood. Epistemological questions concerning body also find their anchor in the existential premise of what it means to be human, along with its focalization within larger political, economic, social, and technological assemblage. This CFP invites research on evaluating body as a corporeal entwining of mind/soul/self, through the understanding of conation, action, emotion, and other dispositions.

Scholars are invited to submit their research papers on the themes sketched below. They are also encouraged to experiment and go beyond the given topics.

  • Body in post-cartesian world
  • Corporeal epistemology
  • Ontology of the body
  • Body in new realism
  • Carnal hermeneutics
  • Corporeal narratology
  • Phenomenology of the flesh
  • Body as a perspective on the world
  • Disposition of the inhuman
  • Body and self-image
  • Kinesthetic experience of body
  • Body turn and somatic society
  • Body and ‘Habitus’
  • Embodiment and pandemic
  • Somatophobia and theology
  • Body and ethics
  • Body without organs and transhumanism
  • Biopolitics and superfluous bodies

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