Past events

RAI Research Seminar: Christina Toren
Wednesday 28 October 2015, 05:30pm - 07:30pm
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Touching and being touched – how we shape the world

Professor Christina Toren, University of St Andrews

Wednesday 28 October at 5.30 pm

Skin, hands, and touch – we cannot separate them from one another, neither does it make sense (at least, from an ethnographic perspective) to isolate an analysis of their centrality for us from the ’here-now’ of the phenomenal human body. This paper shows why the scientific understanding of touch bears on human intersubjectivity as an historical process. It argues the case for an understanding of specific human ontogenies as inherence in an historically constituted peopled world – an inherence that is literally a matter of touching and being touched. Neonates and infants are especially interesting in this regard for, despite the fact that the conditions of the environing world are, as it were, given to them, they have to shape its manifold dimensions for themselves. An ethnographic analysis of the ontogeny of the discriminative and affective dimensions of touching and being touched suggests the necessity of a unified theory of human being.

This event is free, but tickets must be booked. To book tickets please go to

Location 3