Bodies in motion: presence and transformation in Africa
Evoking the two meanings of motion, first, as the action or process of moving and, second, as a proposal or call for change, this panel examines the transformative potential of bodily movement. Bringing together scholars working on various ways of moving, from elite running to outdoor exercising, it critically engages the scholarship on mobility through ethnographies that approach movement in a more literal or kinetic sense. We ask what happens when people start using their bodies in new ways, while attending to how such bodily practices might be shaped by, and participate in shaping, particular aspirations concerning health, wellbeing, and livelihoods. We aim to reflect on the crafting of relationships and communities of practice through movement and the implications of these dynamics for thinking about gender and class formation. We invite papers that address some of the following questions: What are the broader social and economic implications of emerging ways of moving? How do these emerging forms converge with, build on, or depart from, pre-existing ideals and practices? What kinds of social relations do they produce? How is transformation through movement cultivated, performed, and debated in different African contexts? How does the ability to move the body in particular ways facilitate broader and more international mobilities? How do ways of thinking about and working on the self circulate within and beyond communities of practice and how can charting such channels help us better understand emergent forms?
Interested participants should send paper proposals to Julie Archambault (firstname.lastname@example.org).