“Corporeal Literacy as Perspective on Human-Technology Relations” – Maaike Bleeker
This seminar will explore an understanding of literacy as a corporeal condition, focusing in particular on the role of movement in how human bodies make sense of what they encounter. Enactive approaches to perception and cognition point to the central role of sensorimotor schema or skills in how bodies grasp patterns of contingency in manifolds of sensory impressions. Movement is also foregrounded by technological developments that afford new modes of interaction in which gestures and other movements are not—or not only—means of expression but become part of practices of apprehending in new ways. Touch-based technologies challenge users into new perceptual and cognitive actions and turn reading into a doing at the intersection of material and immaterial spaces. Video games rely on structures that require users to move through in order to understand. Movements are increasingly part of modes of navigating through information, of finding the right piece of music, of scrolling through lists of data, of organizing and making connections between diverse materials. These developments foreground the role of movement and sensations in the moment to moment unfolding of sense-making practices and point to the need for a non-representational approach to literacy as an embodied condition.
Maaike Bleeker is professor of Theatre Studies in the Department of Media & Culture Studies. Her work engages with questions of perception, cognition and agency from a broad interdisciplinary perspective, with a special interest in embodiment, movement and technology, and the performativity of meaning making and knowledge transmission. Her monograph Visuality in the Theatre was published by Palgrave. Recent publications include the co-edited volume Performance and Phenomenology: Traditions and Transformations (Routledge 2015) and the edited volume Transmission in Motion. The Technologizing of Dance (Routledge, 2016). She was Head of Department of Media & Culture and served as President of Performance Studies international (2011-2016).