Re-Imagining Embodiment in Communication

Chapter written with Nathanael Bassett, in the edited collection Reimagining Communication: Experience. Edited by Michael Filimowicz, Veronika Tzankova

Scholars across disciplines developed the concept of embodiment over the past several decades. The ideas are not singular although they share commonalities. They often depend on the aims and perspectives of each discipline, with some focusing more on the way having a body alters physical and psychological perception and others defining the term for critical purposes to shed light on how being bodied, or the promise of disembodiment, serve oppressive and emancipatory roles. The authors of this chapter explore a variety of sometimes overlapping yet divergent ways of thinking about embodiment that have found their way into communication scholarship. We propose a distinction between two dominate strands of literature we refer to as embodied communication and embodiment in communication. We conclude the chapter by arguing for a re-imaging of embodiment that combine the two strands, suggesting the approach offers a novel way to address re-configurations of embodiment emerging with new communication technologies.