Theaters of Psychosomatics

Theaters of Psychosomatics

Prof Sophie WittZoom

My paper explores the interconnections between theatrical figures of thought and psychosomatic discourse and gives thus insight in a broader project I'm conducting at the University of Zurich on "Theatre and Psychosomatic(s)". I will argue that a study of the (body-)history of psychosomatics must include the arts and the humanities in an interdisciplinary perspective; and that the pivotal concept for such an interdisciplinary inquiry is not narrative but theatricality and its specific and ‘disruptive’ pluri-mediality of verbal and non-verbal elements, of bodily and spatiotemporal aspects. I propose that the function of theatrical metaphors or figures of thought is dual: firstly, to ‘picture’, i.e. to make visible the invisible psychic dimensions of illnesses by means of staging and observing the body in a specific environment (Umwelt) and situatedness; and secondly to reflect at the same time on the epistemologically problematic character of this hermeneutical endeavor.

University of Zurich, Germany
Wed 14:30 - 16:00
Creative Methodologies, Narrative
Standard paper