Corps et Textes

Visceral Data: Renderings That & Matter
Digital Humanities at Michigan State University
Jacqueline D. Wernimont

The last slide in the talk/demo caught my attention for its positioning of “narratives”

We are inspired by Diana Taylor’s call to see embodied performance as a “system of learning, storing, and transmitting knowledge” and her methodological model that resists the tendency to “reduce gestures and embodied practices to narrative description” (Taylor [The Archive and the Repertoire] 2003, p. 16)

I read this, perhaps erroneously, as displacing the hegemony of one sensory modality by another (a simple flip of a dichotomy) — triggered no doubt by the implied opposition of fulsome and reduced. An alternative way to call for more respect for embodied being is to stress cross-modal translation. In this light narrative (the story) needs to be situated in the context of narrativity (possibility) and narration (the telling, the performance).

Practice — in and out — of verbal language.

Language — out and in — practice.

I had to check the source:

By shifting the focus from written to embodied culture, from the discursive to the performatic, we need to shift our methodologies. Instead of focusing on patterns of cultural expression in terms of texts and narratives, we might think about them as ‘scenarios’ that do not reduce gestures and embodied practices to narrative description. This shift necessarily alters what academic disciplines regard as appropriate canons, and might extend the traditional disciplinary boundaries to include practices previously outside their purview.

The controlling metaphor is visual (a shift in focus). How is the boundary between the performatic and the discursive negotiated via touch? An impoverished notion of narrative seems to be at play. I want to dislodge “narrative” from its positioning solely as “written document”. There is a writing through as much as there is a writing against. Bodies.

And so for day 3030

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