Between Bodies

- emotion - sense - affect -


The second Uppsala University Body/Embodiment Symposium
November 18-19, 2010

Emotion and affect lie at the very heart of our understandings of the world: subjectivity is embedded and embodied and bodies, in their very being, are transgressive and transgressed as the ‘self’ and ‘the world’ bleed into one another through the various porosities of the senses. Such sensory immediacy highlights both the temporal primacy of our senses in understandings of the world but also the way in which particular senses demand attention at particular times in particular contexts. Thus not only are the senses, emotions, and affect, primary to our perception of the world, but they also operate within personal, cultural and political orderings dependent on the positioning of the individual, collective, species. Affecto-emotional registers foster attachment to place, are dependent on space, cultures, technologies; they delineate, reinforce, undermine and are dependent on the material and cultural boundaries which we hold as significant. They are overarched by the multiplicity of approaches, theories and conceptual frameworks that decide which sense(s), emotion(s), affects are significant and how they should be (re)presented. Fields and structures of power privileging certain perspectives and veiling the partiality of these perspectives have given priority of certain senses as more reliable and valuable than others and have enforced categorical boundaries of identity and difference. Further, the endemic anthropocentricism of these frameworks has shaped which sensory immediacies are prioritised along the strata of animality. In addition concepts of sense, subjectivity and emotion are simultaneously deployed to police the various divides between human and animal, and also to create the contact zones where human-animal encounters become most apparent. This symposium will draw together recent work which places the body (human and non-human) as it is present (whether in its presence or absence) at the core of the so called emotional turn.

The symposium takes its point of departure from the role of the body as a centre for emotions, sensations and affectivity. It enquires into the relation between inner emotions and their expression in outer forms of behavior. It asks questions concerning the role of emotion and affectivity as foundational for intellectual life, for thinking, rationality and communication. It highlights the vast milieu of meetings between human and animal, nature and technology, self and other which constitute and are constituted by bodies. By examining the idea of bodies and embodiment as transgressive in a number of different ways, we put focus on bodily boundaries, points of meeting/melting/tension, kinship and skinship between bodies of different kind and different singular experiences; making manifest the interrelationality of drawing boundaries and constituting singularities, differences and commonalities. Confirmed Key note speakers are Myra Hird (Queens University), Francoise Wemelsfelder (Scottish Agricultural College), Jami Weinstein (Linköping University) & Ulrika Dahl (Södertörn University).

Symposium fee: 300 SEK / 35 EUR. Registration required by November 10, 2010. To register please follow instructions here.

For questions or further information, please contact the conference organizers Jacob Bull ( and Lisa Folkmarson Käll (

The Symposium is made popssible, in part, with support from Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ).