P46
Aesthetics of healing and the body in a globalising world

Convenors:
Alison Macdonald (UCL)
Serena Bindi (Paris Descartes University)
Chair:
James Staples
Location:
Arts and Aesthetics Lecture Hall No. 002, SAA-II
Start time:
6 April, 2012 at 8:30
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

How do the aesthetic dimensions of different healing systems intersect and/or relate to the aesthetics of embodied experiences of health and illness? We seek to explore how aesthetics associated with different healing treatments contribute to the healing process as well as consider how certain aesthetics of the body might also intersect with these wider systems of healing including biomedical 'technologies'.

Long abstract:

This panel seeks to explore aesthetic dimensions of different healing systems as they intersect and/or relate to the aesthetics of embodied experiences of health and illness. In the current anthropological literature, some attention has been paid to the way in which aesthetics associated with different healing treatments contribute to the healing process by affecting the embodied experience of the patient. In particular, how does engaging the patient's senses and/of/or aesthetics (odors, colors, sight, music, and all kinds of sensory stimuli) affect the embodied experience of the patient? Conversely, we also seek to explore how certain aesthetics of the body intersect with these wider systems of healing including biomedical 'technologies', and consider the wider implications of such intermingling of the body and body 'politic'. For example, how might modes of bodily 'visibility' be pragmatically managed by patients and healers in response to different healing systems and / or as a consequence of illness? Finally, in what ways might globalizing medical practices impact the specific aesthetics of bodily materialities and local systems of healing in nuanced and unexpected ways? We invite contributions from ethnographic research that deals with the embodied experience of patients on these two fronts, offering critical reflection upon the ways in which aesthetics of healing systems and/ or aesthetics of the body illness speak to wider variants of well being.