CFP: Investigating Somatic Consciousness: Beginning with Three Methodologies

Submission deadline: April 1, 2014

Conference date(s):
September 4, 2014 - September 6, 2014

Go to the conference's page

Conference Venue:

Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge University
Cambridge, United Kingdom

Topic areas


Consciousness is associated most readily with the mind, the psyche, and the
psychological sciences, yet many contemporary approaches to understanding
experience acknowledge that consciousness is necessarily embodied. Three
methodological approaches to consciousness that accept this premise will be
the focus of our 2014 conference.

From the phenomenological primacy of sensation, touch, and movement in
Aristotle, the James-Lange theory of a bodily basis for the emotions, and
Merleau-Ponty's embodied phenomenology of perception, to Shusterman's
somaesthetics, Noë’s enactivism and Damasio's somatic marker hypothesis,
we've come a long way in our understanding of the role of the body in
experience, and one of the main things we've learnt is that the body isn't
merely a vehicle for the mind; it is an essential aspect of our real,
pre-reflective, intentional sensuous being.

Our invited speakers will provide theoretical and experiential perspectives
on the nature of somatic consciousness from the point of view of:

Mindfulness and Therapy: Paul Grossman & Eva Kreikenbaum

Alexander Technique: Alex Farkas & Michal Segal

Focusing: Donata Schoeller & Robert Lee.

We note that there are at least two distinct approaches to understanding
somatic consciousness:  i) awareness of the body, for example, sensation,
interoception, dance, bodywork, and so on, and ii) the constitutive role of
the body/bodily processes in conscious experience: awareness through the
body, including 'embodiment', embodied cognition, and phenomenology, and we
invite disciplinary and trans-disciplinary proposals on these approaches for
papers, symposia, experiential sessions, posters or artwork.

For paper submissions, please submit an abstract of 500 to 750 words, in
DOC, PDF or RTF format.

Please include your name, title, affiliation and whether you wish to apply
for a student bursary. We will consider all paper submissions for inclusion
in either talk or poster format, unless you specify one format only at the
time of submission. Oral presentations will last 20 minutes, with 10 minutes
for discussion, and speakers are encouraged to adopt a conversational style,
rather than reading papers verbatim.

Submitters of artwork should send a description of 100 to 150 words
explaining its relevance to the topic, as well as photograph(s) and details
of dimensions, if applicable, or of any other requirements for its display.

For symposia, please email a description of up to one side of A4, detailing
the content and format of your proposed session. Please also indicate the
names of any confirmed speakers or session leaders.

The conference is open to researchers from all disciplines, with reduced
rates for BPS/CEP members and students.

We will provide up to five bursaries to students whose proposals for talks
are accepted.

Key Dates

• Submission deadline: 1 April 2014
• Responses by: 29 April 2014
• Early registration deadline: 10 June 2014
• Conference: 4-6 September 2014


Please email Bryony Pierce ([email protected]) if you have any
conference questions.

On behalf of the conference committee,

Susan Stuart, University of Glasgow (Chair)
Bryony Pierce, University of Bristol
Emily Hammond, University of Exeter
Nik Darshane, University of Cambridge

Supporting material

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