Center for Interpretive and Qualitative Research (CIQR — “seeker”: http://www.duq.edu/ciqr/)
Date: December 5 (Thurs.), 4:30-6:00, Berger Gallery (207 College Hall), Duquesne University
Update: A video of the talk is available on the Duquesne website and can be streamed here
Abstract: A series of neurological findings in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries began to chart sensations felt within the body, especially the moving body, yet which lay outside the usual Aristotelian five-fold model of the senses. Like the maps drawn up by explorers of unknown lands, this neurological cartography was pioneering yet contentious. From Charles Bell’s indistinct ‘muscle sense’ (1826), to H. Charles Bastian’s identification of a feedback mechanism known as ‘kinesthesis’ (1869), and later Charles Sherrington’s ‘proprio-ception’ (1906), the identification of such neurological mechanisms failed to converge neatly into a unified map. Even today, thinking about our internal sensations – “inner touch” – remains disjointed. I therefore return to Aristotle’s notion of sensory faculty (aesthesis) and its influence as a form of “inner touch” well into the Early Modern period to consider the role of somatic sensations within bodily movement, and point to recent research in the performing arts that attempts to gauge the aesthetic worth of such bodily sensations.