New Book | Body Narratives: Motion and Emotion

Posted in books by Editor on March 31, 2017

This collection of essays grew out of the 2015 conference; from Brepols:

Susanna Caviglia, ed., Body Narratives: Motion and Emotion in the French Enlightenment (Turnhout: Brepols, 2017), 291 pages, ISBN: 978  2503  574745, 100€ / $125.

The first art historical interrogation of the body as an object and discursive ensemble that questions the power and limits of visual representation, this book explores, in broad terms, the representations and understandings of the body’s physical and psychological movement’s meanings during the French Enlightenment in its many guises—artistic, esthetic, social, and erotic. It is centered on the fundamental tension between stasis and movement, which is both constitutive of art historical reflection and embedded in the body’s existence. Stasis and movement not only correspond to the potential modalities of the body’s visual representations, but they are also the conditions which govern the relationship between the viewer and the artwork as well as that between the viewers and the spaces in which they encounter the represented body. Based on this dialectic, the present book proposes a dynamic approach of the body considered as a focus of composition, an object of interrogation, and a site of meaning during a time when the body became the focus of an increasing number of artistic, technical, scientific, and philosophical inquiries directly connected to larger historical forces and discourses. During this time, the body’s stasis and movement became the vehicles for recording cultural and social transformations but also the producers of new meanings inherent to the body itself and unveiled by the development of the new scientific and philosophical approaches of it.


Susanna Caviglia (University of Chicago), Introduction

I  Body Language: Narrative Stasis
• Dorothy Johnson (University of Iowa), The Body Speaks: Anatomical Narratives in French Enlightenment Sculptures
• Étienne Jollet (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne), Anti-Pygmalion: Jean-Baptiste Restout’s Diogenes and Materiality as Truth

II  The Mobile Body: Social Identity and Visual Dynamics
• Mimi Hellman (Skidmore College), Engaging Tapestries at the Hôtel de Soubise: Attention, Mobility, Intercorporeality
• Melissa Hyde (University of Florida), Watching Her Step: Women and the Art of Walking after Marie-Antoinette

III  Body Temporality: Aesthetics of Walking
• Mary Sheriff (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Movement and Stasis: Mapping Cythera
• Ewa Lajer-Burcharth (Harvard University), Strolling Time


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: