Series 2: The body and science

When scientists and dance artists and scholars talk about the human body, what kind of body are they describing or attempting to understand? There are disciplinary divergences yet the hard dualistic line between body and mind has dissolved and science’s supposed view from nowhere as a “modest witness”[1] is widely debated particularly within the sciences. The historian of science Andrew Pickering has described the practice of science as an unpredictable “dance of agency”,[2] in which scientific practice represents a “dialectic of resistance and accommodation” [2] that is overwhelmingly ad hoc. The scientist Randolph Nesse argues that although the metaphor of the body as machine is seductive, it is more accurate to describe the body as “a soma shaped by selection”.[3]

Series 2 of C-DaRE invites … explores The Body and Science, and in it we ask what kind of body is the human body now? We explore and debate notions of self and embodiment; the “spectre of embodied cognition”;[4] pain; somatic practices rendered as measurable; medicalised time;[5] and the Bayesian body and brain. We seek divergent understandings of what kind of body science is observing and/or creating and we ask what role other research fields and ways of knowing in the arts might have to play in this creation, and how the irrepressible movements, actions and practices of the human body are open to re-interpretation and re-imagination.


  1. Haraway, Donna, Thyrza Nichols Goodeve, and Lynn Randolph. 2018. Modest_witness Second Millennium: FemaleMan®_meets_OncoMouse™$dfeminism and Technoscience. Second edition. New York London: Routledge.
  2. Pickering, Andrew. 1995. The Mangle of Practice. Time, Agency, and Science. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  3. Nesse, Randolph. 2016. “The Body Is Not A Machine.” Center for Evolution and Medicine. February 4, 2016.
  4. Goldman, Alvin, and Frederique De Vignemont. 2009. “Is Social Cognition Embodied?” Trends in Cognitive Sciences 13 (4): 154–59.
  5. Wasson, Sara. 2021. “Waiting, Strange: Transplant Recipient Experience, Medical Time and Queer/Crip Temporalities.” Medical Humanities 47 (4): 447–55.