An Ethics of Embodiment Through A/r/tographical Inquiry

Dr. Stephanie Springgay,
Dr. Lisa LaJevic
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A/r/tography attends to the practices of art making, researching, and teaching. It is a methodology that invites participation of the in-between. More specifically, a/r/tography develops the relation between embodiment, meaning, and ethical obligation challenging educators to re-define the terms by which research is understood and created.

Jean Luc Nancy (2000) posits the uniqueness of the body at the origin of meaning and at the origin of ethics by not only conceiving the body as meaning (as opposed to having meaning), but by thinking it in terms of community. For Nancy, the body expresses meaning because of the singularity, uniqueness or alterity that it contains. This alterity however, is exposed as being-with or being(s)-in-relation. Thus, ethics is a matter of being exposed—community formed as an opening of self to the Other. This presentation examine of an ethics of embodiment. Implications suggest that participating in a network of relations lends itself to gestures of non-violence and social justice. Drawing on this theoretical framework, we have implemented an a/r/tographical project in an art education course for pre-service elementary generalist teachers. Through writing and imaging as inquiry [using primarily visual journals] student-teachers engage in a process of interrogating knowledge of self and other as situation and relational. In education, ethics is often reduced to a series of moral guidelines where teachers focus on how to best encourage the acquisition of ethical knowledge and how best to model ethical principles and concepts. Instead we aim to inquire into the very forms of relationality that structure our encounters with other people. While this poses difficulty for teachers, in that it does not offer the security that codes or principles of ethics might, it implies that education become an embodied process of responding to the Other—an exposure.

Keywords: Embodiment, Ethics, Art Education, Arts Based Research, Visual Journals
Stream: Arts Education
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Dr. Stephanie Springgay

In Person Attendance, Assistant Professor Art Education and Women's Studies, Pennsylvania State University

Stephanie Springgay is an Assistant Professor of Art Education and Women’s Studies at Penn State University. She completed her PhD from the University of British Columbia. Her dissertation, Inside the Visible: Youth understandings of body knowledge through touch, examines adolescent experiences of the body in and as visual culture. Her research and artistic explorations focus on issues of relationality. In addition, as a multidisciplinary artist working with installation and video-based art, she investigates the relationship between artistic practices and methodologies of educational research.

Dr. Lisa LaJevic

The Pennsylvania State University

Ref: A06P0068