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Lecture by Katharine Young

Narrative/Memory/Body: The Temporalization of Experience in a Somatic Therapeutic Practice

December 6, 4:00 p.m.
School of Nursing, Location TBA

The act of narrating alters the narrator's experience of time by obliging the narrator to embody two temporalities: the time the narrative takes to tell and the time the narrative refers to. This double embodiment of time is particularly apparent in personal experience narratives, in which the two temporalities narrators bring together are their own past and their own present. The temporal order of the narrative world is brought into the temporal order of the storytelling occasion by postures and gestures as well as by language. In reconstituting one reality in and for another, narrative makes co-present in the body two temporal orders: the past is repeated in the present as embodied experience. The effect of this is to collapse time. Corporeally speaking, there is no past, just an organization of sensory modalities in the present. The capacity of the narrating body to inhabit its past as present gives somatic psychology its chance to change somatic experience by intervening in the body's repetition of its past.

Katharine Young is an independent scholar, writing, researching, and teaching in Berkeley, CA. She is the author of Presence in the Flesh: The Body in Medicine (Boston, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997) and Taleworlds and Storyrealms: the Phenomenology of Narrative (Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff, 1986), and editor of Bodylore (Knoxville, TE: University of Tennesse Press, 1993). She is currently studying the relationship between gestures and narrative, body image, space, interiority, consciousness, volition, thought, emotion, memory, and time in somatic psychology.

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