This symposium enquires into what an ethics of gesture might be and what it might look like. It asks whether Agamben’s definition of the gestural as ‘communication of a communicability’ is enough to warrant its belonging to the sphere of ethos, and seeks to mobilise alternative conceptual approaches to gestural ethics from Merleau-Ponty to Lacan, Foucault, Butler and others. It aims at an understanding of what a gestural ethics might imply at specific historical moments, but also how it can be thought, and theorised, as a political force today.
Addressing, among others, choreography by Ted Shawn and Merce Cunningham, and films by François Campaux, George Stevens, Clint Eastwood, and John Maclean, the symposium focuses both on cultural theories of gesture and on case studies from the fields of dance, theatre, performance, film and the visual arts; it brings those fields together with approaches from anthropology, theology, philosophy, and media studies. It is intended to enable intensive discussion across disciplines, in order to move, in the words of Mark Franko, ‘towards an ethics of gesture’.
Speakers: Astrid Deuber-Mankowsky (Bochum), Michael Minden (Cambridge), Carrie Noland (Irvine), Lucia Ruprecht (Cambridge), Alexander Schwan (Berlin), Rebecca Schneider (Brown), Jonas Tinius (Cambridge).