Kinesthetic Empathy: Concepts and Contexts

Hosted by The Watching Dance Project

This peer-reviewed conference was held on 22 and 23 April 2010 with the aim of bringing together researchers and practitioners in fields including neuroscience, dance, film, music, and contemporary embodied practices, to explore the nature and role of kinesthetic empathy.

The conference aimed to provide a focus for the growing body of research and the increasing number of scholars and practitioners who are engaging with kinesthesia, empathy and kinesthetic empathy as pivotal concepts across different disciplines and media. This impetus  is connected with current concern with ‘affect’ as an object of enquiry, interrogation of notions of presence, embodiment and the senses, re-examination of phenomenology, and widespread interest in neuroscientific investigation (notably in the 'mirror neuron' system).

Many thanks to all those who helped to make the conference such a success; special thanks go to our keynote speakers Alain Berthoz and Christian Keysers, for arriving in the UK against the odds, to Susan Foster for making the full text of her presentation available to us in her absence, to Eila Goldhahn and Sue Hawksley for running last minute movement workshops, to all the panelists, team members and volunteers who worked so hard to make sure everything ran smoothly.

Sadly, some of our international speakers and presenters were unable to make it owing to volcano-induced air traffic disruption, including Susan Foster, Marianne Eberhard-Kaechele, Emilyn Claid, Brian Knoth, Vicky Karkou and Thecla Schiphorst. However our chairs and technical team worked very hard to allow transmission of recorded talks where possible and Susan Foster's keynote speech was delivered by Dee Reynolds, project director.

We have video documentation of the conference available on our online forum where we will continue to post material over the coming days and weeks. Please join the forum to discuss the conference and its concerns, and continue to make the most of the opportunities presented by this unique and fruitful community

Warmest wishes

The organising committee of the Watching Dance Project


Watching Dance: Kinesthetic Empathy

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