Politics of Touch: Sense, Movement, Sovereignty

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Political philosophy has long been bound by traditional thinking about the body and the senses. Through an engagement with the state-centered vocabulary of this discipline, Politics of Touch explores the ways in which sensing bodies continually run up against existing political structures. In this groundbreaking work, Erin Manning reconsiders how new politics can arise that challenge the national body politic. In Politics of Touch, Manning develops a new way to conceive the role of the senses, and of touch in particular. Exploring concepts of violence, gender, sexuality, security, democracy, and identity, she traces the ways in which touch informs and reforms the body. Specifically considering tango-a tactile, rhythmic, and improvisational dance- she foregrounds movement as the sensing body's intervention into the political. With a fresh vision and an original theoretical basis, Manning shows the ontogenetic potential of the body, and in doing so, redefines our understanding of the sense of touch in philosophical and political terms. Erin Manning is assistant professor of fine arts at Concordia University and the author of Ephemeral Territories (Minnesota, 2003).