Anthropology through the experience of the physical body

Kaori Fushiki (Taisho University)
Ryoko Sakurada (Ikuei Junior College)
Start time:
18 May, 2014 at 10:30
Session slots:

Short abstract:

The physical body is a 'media'. All physical 'things' are experienced trough our skin and our senses which interpret a recognition of the world. Our recognition can't exist without our 'physical body'. This panel will rethink anthropological concerns from the perspective of the physical body.

Long abstract:

What lays at the core of anthropology? Recently, we debated the anthropology of 'things' as a continuity of all kinds of physical existence, recognition, thoughts and knowledge. However, we cannot ignore our individual existence and our experience that constructs our world as a kind of cohesiveness. Once 'things' that exist outside of our recognition are captured by our individual senses, recognition and experience construct our world around us. But at the same time, our senses and recognition have also been constructed through individual experiences interpreted through our physical body. Therefore, it can be argued that from one perspective, all anthropological subjects revolve around the 'physical body', leading to the inevitable question of what is a human and what is constructed culture? In this panel, we will explore the following themes. 1) Rethinking linkage including classic themes such as lineage, family, lifestyle, living sphere, and moving. 2) The body itself, including the topics of the deficiencies of the body parts, the lack of the bodily functions, and medical treatments. 3) The topic of dead bodies, human lives and death. 4) Human behavior depending on our physical body which has limits in terms of movement and social behavior. 5) An interim body such as the body of spirit mediums, additional body parts, and cyborg-nized bodies and their lives. Within this discourse, we will be able to discuss the limits of the self, the expanded self, what is the essential 'self' and what is a human?