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Gesture Posture Prosthesis: Religious Studies in the Digital Age


May 31, 2013
12:15 pm - 1:30 pm
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Dept of Religious Studies Seminar Room
Bldg. 70, Rm 72A1

Colloquium with Sam Gill (University of Colorado, Boulder). For Religious Studies faculty, graduate students, and guests. RSVP to Sunny Toy (toy@stanford.edu).There is a nexus among gesture and posture and prosthesis.  Gestures, as techniques of body, are culturally, historically, and psychologically shaped movements that are enactive, expressive, agentive, and interrogative.  Posture as position includes concept and idea as well as body structure. Posture enables gesture, but, in turn, is also shaped by it.  Prosthesis is the gestural use of anything to extend oneself interactively into the world; anything from the hand or the body to pencils and iPads to sacred texts and the Mars rover. Religious beliefs, practices, objects, behaviors, and emotions all occur in this nexus, as do academic research and pedagogical methods and toys.  In this presentation, Prof. Gill will develop these ideas for the purpose of illuminating opportunities for teaching and studying religion in this wildly expanding digital age.  He will suggest a mandate for radically creative developments and offer some concrete ideas about how to pursue these opportunities.