Corporeal Techniques and Technologies

Techne, the ancient Greek term for art, artifice, craft, and skill, broadly designates systems, methods, practices and techniques of making or doing. Often translated as “know-how,” it locates knowledge production in corporeal techniques and technologies and helps us to think beyond cognitive, epistemological and disciplinary models grounded in mind-body dualisms. A wide range of scholarship across the disciplines deploys techneas a methodological tool to explore the cultural and historical manifestations, transformations and extensions of bodymind through techniques and technologies, including “techniques of the body” (Mauss), “habitus” (Bourdieu), the “history of manners” (Elias), “enskillment” (Ingold), ecological and technological “affordances” (Gibson), “bodily technologies” (Downey), the gendered and racialized body as a “cyborg” (Haraway) or “archive” (Fuentes), and “distributed cognitive ecologies” (Tribble) that extend across boundaries of brain, body, systems, instruments, objects, and material practices. This semester, we trace the past, present, and potential futures of our biotechnological age, and the new forms of post-human technicity prompting us to rethink the shifting boundaries of human and non-human embodiment, what counts as a “body,” how bodies make, move, act, feel, perceive, communicate, record, etc., as well as new forms of bodily inscription, modification, prosthesis, distribution and extension.


All lectures begin at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted, and are held in the Daniel Family Commons, which is located in the Usdan University Center.

Form(s of) Listening from Edison to Muzak and Beyond


ALEXANDRA HUI • Mississippi State University


Figuring the Climate Refugee: Precarity, Adaptation, and Risk in Representations of Environmental Migration 


NEEL AHUJA • University of California, Santa Cruz


Something about Nothing 


MEL CHEN • University of California, Berkeley


Oceanic Feelings in the Anthropocene: Ellen Gallagher’s Rising (Black) Atlantic 


HEATHER VERMEULEN • Andrew Mellon Post-Doc Wesleyan


Hearing Changes 


RON KUIVILA • Wesleyan University


Embodied Engineering: Gender, Technology, and Body Politics in Mali (West Africa)


LAURA ANN TWAGIRA • Wesleyan University 


The Children’s Hatchery: On the Nonhuman Origins of Neonatology


MEGAN GLICK • Wesleyan University


Skin, Touching, Skin: Disability, Touch, and Radical Interdependence


CHRISTINA CROSBY • Wesleyan University 


Refuse Bodies and the Technologies of Waste Production in the Transatlantic Slave Trade


MARISA FUENTES • Rutgers University


After Crip, Beyond Disability


ALISON KAFER • Southwestern University