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20 | 2025, Corps&Graphies (EN)

Deadline for submission of proposals: Dec 15th 2023

Edited by Carole Baudin, Laure Garrabé, Jeanne-Martine Robert

From the nervous and accelerated fluidity of urban milieux, to the distensions of our bonds with nature, to restlessness and spasms surrounding social issues (such as work, migration, etc.), to abrupt friction between people, to atonic digital dialogs… our bodies express tensions in the world, tensions that have been exacerbated by the pandemic. These “states of the body” (« états de corps », Guisgand, 2012), to take an expression from the field of dance, are precious. As matrices of our lives, they account for subtle variations in the way we create the world.

Nonetheless, the fundamentally carnal and sensorial dimensions, those of gestures, rhythms, affects, and more generally of the senses, that tenuously but essentially contribute to the syntony or dystonia of societies, have still far from attained a central place in anthropology. This is partially explicable, for anthropology as a science is heir to a long tradition of Cartesian methodology, even when dealing with the universe of the senses, which is riveted to a desire for objectivity (Gélard, 2016) and thus does not dare to venture out into the hazardous mess of phenomena of the senses that nevertheless feed into ethnographic fieldwork. Even though as early as the founding texts of the discipline (Mauss, 1950), texts showed an interest in our corporal condition; the body continues to be construed as an object, a repository of disincarnated “social dynamics”, a vehicle caught in a sterile series of dichotomies: activity and passivity, interiority and externality, rationality and sensitivity, materiality and spirituality, and individuality and sociality. More recently, some perspectives as the so-called ontological turn in anthropology have provided various approaches, opening up a new line of questioning of those phenomenologies and the trajectories through which they are translated, by reintroducing the epistemological status of experience and perception into their very core, within the sense that they can give their identity to the perceived “things”.

However, for want of methodologies which state those relations that forever engage us to an Other, what is at stake is understanding how such relations are made. The challenge is then to elaborate tools, techniques, grammars, or languages that allow us to translate those states of body, not only to understand them, but also to “make something”, in Ricoeur’s sense (Pueyo, 2020), of them, a making that is inscribed in the daily practices of learning, creation, conception and work. Among “graphies” to which anthropologists forever elude, “choreography” is entering the scene, subtly yet fundamentally, not just as a form of writing, but as a system of thought which is able to grasp and account for this dimension of the senses, hence:

“the notion of choreography (…) has the advantage that it makes us understand (but first of all to make us feel, watch, and listen) the being together of the chorus that designates both the place where people dance and the art of dancing. (…) in the time of kairos, there is no longer an object that can be considered as being radically outside. Kairos is the precise moment at which we renounce the fictions of Otherness, of ‘the stranger’, and at which we have an experience of strangeness” (Laplantine, 2016, p.42-43).

Dance manages the body in its movement and its emotions, both the sentient and what is sensorially perceived, the acting body and the body that has been acted upon, and in this way, it represents a “source of knowledge” of what can be perceived by the senses. In particular, the revolution proposed by contemporary dance has given birth to a conception of the body in terms of gestures, of the body in relation that the choreographic gaze such as that put forward by the philosopher Michel Bernard. Not that gaze that reappropriates the tools of notation systems of movement to describe and document the techniques of the body, but a gaze that scrutinizes subtleties of bodies in their “tensions, looseness, balance or plays of disequilibrium, in their transfers of weight, their relationship to gravity – the terrestrial condition – given in organic rhythms reposing upon breath – the condition of life – and which is determined in a relation to time-space and to the Other” (Bernard, 2001).

Today, in the wake of avantgarde thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche or Paul Valéry, and borne by dancer-choreographers, philosophers, anthropologists, historians and neurologists, this line of thought renews our understanding of the human being as a body endowed with senses, in motion, relational, and the matrix of social life. This choreographic gaze then shifts to capturing the body in motion, in metamorphosis, i.e. the body in relation, positing that the “relation is a value”, and inducing us to observe the “articulations of presences” (Angot & Hagel, 2017). This gaze transcends the outlines of the bodies to grasp the “sensitive epiphanies” in them; for it can be said that “dance is neither a thing in itself, nor a form of reference but a transitivity in a milieux of the senses” (Bouvier, 2017: 5). By recounting dancing bodies as bodies in gestures (Cerclet, 2014), in expression (Citton, 2012), in creation (Laplantine, 2020), in life (Nietzche, 1983, Valéry 2015), these thinkers speak, not always explicitly, about a body with exacerbated senses, making it possible to deepen the tie to materiality, externality, by way of interiority. It is a body that forms social linkage, through senses in action, in dialectics between the one and the many – a matrix of empirical knowledge which is the feeling and perceiving knowledge at the core of our social bonds and dynamics.

  • 1 “BodyGraphy” could be used for the neologism that serves as a title for this issue, as “Corps choré (...)

The relations between choreography and anthropology are inscribed on a wider basis – a “Corps&Graphies”1 or an “anthropology through dance”. In contrast to an anthropology of dance, in that it does not consider dance as an object of study, but it is instead interested in tools, techniques and practices that refer to the fundamentally bodily incarnated dimension of our lives, meaning sentient, in motion, open and in relation. This thematic issue calls for inquiries about researchers’ experiences as practitioners, using language to narrate sensorial phenomena of which s/he bears witness and in which s/he participates. This implies questioning his/her conceptual and methodological tools as well as his/her status through his/her corporal engagement. It is also about wondering what changes and what we make of it, beyond the project of knowledge: learning, creation, diagnosis, interventions, conceptions, etc.

This issue of Parcours Anthropologiques calls upon researchers in a wider sense (who define themselves as theorists and/or practitioners), from various areas and disciplines, in and beyond the social sciences. We invite contributions that privilege reflection on “new” “graphies”, with particular attention to the concrete and sense-oriented dimensions of experience and to the dialogue between what is experienced, what is thought and techniques that are mobilized. This issue is an opportunity to draw an initial state of the art of works and reflection on that topic and to engage in diverse exploration of ways that open up to the sensorial, practical and theoretical stakes of a “Corps&Graphies” project.

La revue Parcours anthropologiques

Le projet éditorial de Parcours Anthropologiques consiste à faire de notre revue un espace de rencontres d’idées, d’actualisation et de mise en discussion des conceptions de la discipline, notamment en ce qui concerne la pertinence et les significations actuelles de la recherche en anthropologie. La revue se veut un espace ouvert à la fois aux propositions et présentations de travaux de chercheurs de différents laboratoires d’anthropologie et d’autres univers de pratique de la discipline, tout comme aux dialogues de celle-ci avec d’autres composantes disciplinaires des sciences de l’homme.

Modalités de soumission des textes

Les chercheurs (chercheur, enseignant-chercheur, doctorant, post-doctorant) de toutes les disciplines des sciences humaines et sociales sont invités à adresser des articles originaux, en français ou en anglais, fondés sur des données de recherche empiriques et n'ayant pas déjà fait l'objet d'une publication dans des revues, ouvrages ou actes de colloques.

  • Ces propositions doivent être envoyées par courrier électronique au format .doc uniquement aux deux adresses suivantes : <> et <>

  • Elles peuvent être accompagnées de documents photographiques et/ou vidéos de bonne qualité.

  • Un accusé de réception sera adressé en retour.

  • La note aux auteurs est consultable à cette adresse :


  • Premier appel : 15 décembre 2023. Soumission des articles. À réception, ils seront examinés par le comité de rédaction qui jugera de leur recevabilité. Ensuite, ils seront adressés à deux évaluateurs qui les lierons de manière anonyme et nous transmettrons leur avis. La décision de publication est du seul ressort du comité de rédaction de la revue.

  • Mai 2024 : Fin du processus d’évaluation par les pairs et communication des résultats aux auteurs.

  • 1er septembre 2024 : Dépôt des versions finales des articles retenus.

  • Automne 2024 : Fabrication du numéro

  • Début 2025 : Publication de la revue en ligne.


ANGOT, L. & HAGEL, Z. (2017). Danser pour explorer l’habiter”. Recherches en danse [En ligne], 6.

BERNARD, M. (2001). De la création chorégraphique. Paris, Ed. Centre National de la Danse.

BOUVIER, M. (2017). Pour une danse voyante”. Recherches en danse [En ligne], 6.

CERCLET, D. (2014). Marcel Jousse: à la croisée de l’anthropologie et des neurosciences, le rythme des corps. Parcours anthropologiques 9, p. 24–38.

CITTON, Y. (2012). Gestes d'humanités: Anthropologie sauvage de nos expériences esthétiques. Paris, Ed. Armand Colin.

GÉLARD, M.L. (2016). “L’anthropologie sensorielle en France: Un champ en devenir ?”. L'Homme, 217, p. 91–107.

GUISGAND, P. (2012). “Étudier les états de corps”. Spirale, (242), p. 33–34.

LAPLANTINE, F. (2016). Le social et le sensible. Introduction à une anthropologie modale, Paris, Ed. Tétraèdre.

LAPLANTINE, F. (2020). “Penser le sensible avec la danse contemporaine”. Anthropologie et Sociétés, 44(1), p. 117–134.

MAUSS, M. (1950). Sociologie et Anthropologie, Paris, Ed. PUF.

NIETZSCHE Fr. (1983). Ainsi parlait Zarathoustra. Paris : Ed. Librairie Générale Française.

PUEYO, V. (2020). Pour une Prospective du Travail. Les mutations et transitions du travail à hauteur d’Hommes (Habilitation à diriger des recherches). Université Lumière Lyon 2, Lyon.

VALERY, P (2015/1936). Philosophie de la Danse. Paris. Ed, Alia.

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1 “BodyGraphy” could be used for the neologism that serves as a title for this issue, as “Corps&Graphies” implies a voiced allusion both to “chorégraphie” (choreography), implying writing through dance, and then through the body, and to ethnography.

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