What is the relationship between naming and touching? This symposium explores the haptic effects of names as well as the attempt to name haptic experience through the lens of anthropology, performance studies, philosophy, and psychoanalysis.
The experience of language, specifically of names, shapes subjectivity by impacting one’s relationship to one’s body and the bodies of others. Designators indexing race, class, gender, religion, and status configure haptic relations. How do given names affect the ways one is touched from infancy onwards? How are other names received throughout one’s life — such as nicknames, slurs, or praises — inscribed upon the skin? How do these names open up or constrain the kinds of haptic experiences one can have with other subjects or collectives?
Naming touch can bring visibility to different kinds of haptic experiences, presumably allowing for greater protection, knowledge, communication, and heightened sensations and emotions. Yet naming touch can also stigmatize, normalize, and suppress haptic desires and experiences. What is the effect of naming touch? Are there kinds of touch that evade being named, such as those related to violence, trauma, or intense pleasure? What does the attempt to translate these haptic experiences do to language itself?
Rachel Aumiller and Iracema Dulley
16:00 – 18:00 Panel I
The Weight of a Touch: The Soft Underbelly of Representation and Naming
Maria José de Abreu (online): Epistemology of the Clause: Portugal 1953
Ashwak Hauter: Physics of Affinity: Physicians or Magicians?
Moderator: Sam Dolbear
18:00 Coffee Break
19:00 – 21:00 Panel II
Iracema Dulley: The Voice in Rape
Bara Kolenc: The Omnipotence of Words:
From Protection to Provocation
Stefania Pandolfo: Words Renounced Their Status as Speech and Changed
in Certain Things Resembling Pebbles
Moderator: Sarath Jakka
15:00 – 18:00 Sci-Fi Anatomy Workshop with Emma Bigè and Lea Kieffer (internal)
This workshop will delve into reclaiming and revisiting the complex legacies of the visual body.
18:00 Coffee Break
19:00 – 20:30 Panel IV
Rachel Aumiller: A Hesitant Caress:
An Ethic of Intimacy with Irigaray
Rosalind Morris: NAMING, TOUCHING:
An Ear for the Other
Moderator: Özgün Eylül İşcen
Iracema Dulley and Rachel Aumiller
Maria José de Abreu
Image credit: Rima Salamoun, 2020