Body-Based Practices: Between Nature and Culture 9206


Learning Outcomes:


During the course the students are expected to acquire insight in research on three levels:

1. research on the specific body-based practice that they themselves perform, including the inherent principles and traditions of the discipline in question, including learning and performative methods.

2. research on the body between nature and culture, including the special kind of meaning generated by the body, its socio-cultural context and a critical view on the nature-culture dichotomy.

3. research on the epistemological challenges implied in research on/for/through the body, particularly connected to the PhD education.


The aim of the course is to develop the students’ ability to reflect on their own and others’ body-based practice and thereby to render this practice accessible to and fruitful within scientific research. Therefore the course also will develop the students’ aptitude to observe and analyse, conceptualise and contextualise, and to carry out a theoretical reasoning concerning practice.

General competence

The ambition is to contribute to the integration of practical and theoretical aptitudes in man seen as a whole. This integration implies critical thinking, and practical as well as theoretical innovation. The ability to situate body-based practice within a theoretical framework will be accompanied by the ability to anchor theoretical issues in a body-based practice, and thereby produce a fuller understanding of the embodiment. This represents a general competence that is as essential in the practical-performing field as in the theoretical-reflective field.



The overall aim of the course is to impart to the participants an understanding of the body’s character as both nature and culture. The acquisition of bodily skills may be considered a cultivation of the natural, and the course intends to elucidate the way in which this transformation of nature into culture is carried out through training and performance, and the various kinds of articulation, communication, and culture production generally occasioned by body-based practice. Cultivation moreover implies discipline, and the course will also elucidate the ways in which the body is subject to and a tool for the exertion of power.

The target group is performing students within sport, dance, music, art, crafts, crafts education etc. The course is intended to develop their ability to reflect on what they often possess and perform as unreflective tacit skills. The goal is to understand body-based practice in its specificity, in its interconnection with materiality and in the context of other meaning-generating activities. Verifiability and transferability of the results are also essential aims.

The course has the ambition to contribute to the development of adequate methodical and theoretical tools in the kind of pioneer research that some of the PhD students will have launched.

Arbeids- og læringsformer

Educational set-up

Tuition and working methods include lectures, workshops with student presentations/performances and critical discussions, in addition to guidance by the scientific staff involved in the course.

Assessment, documentation

The participants will be asked to hand in a scientific essay in which an example of body-based practice will be subject to a theoretical discussion. This essay will be based on the course syllabus, as well as on the tuition and exercises carried out during the course. Its volume should be of about 12-15 pages, scientifically formatted with references and bibliography.


Assessment methods

The scientific essay and participation in the course will be assessed as Approved or Not approved. The assessment will be carried out by the scientific staff teaching at the course.

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Publisert av / forfatter Kristin Midtbø <> - 05.07.2013