Mind in Movement

Mind in Movement

Guillemette Bolens
University of Geneva

Mind in Movement, Guillemette Bolens (University of Geneva)

While visiting a museum, enaction is at work when we watch and cognitively explore the artefacts on display. Guillemette Bolens will focus on three fascinating artefacts held by the National Museum of Scotland: the Pembridge Helm, one Lewis chess piece, and a photograph of Victorian firefighters. In order to unwrap the sensorimotor and cultural implications contained in these artefacts, she will focus on the way we rely on our multifarious embodied cognition and cultural knowledge to gain access to their pragmatic meaning. 

Guillemette Bolens is Professor of Medieval English Literature and Comparative Literature at the University of Geneva. Her research interests are in the history of the body and kinesic analysis in literature and art. Her approach is interdisciplinary, linking the fields of narratology, gesture studies, kinesic intelligence, embodied cognition, and kinesthetic semiotics. She is the author of the award-winning La Logique du corps articulaire (2000); The Style of Gestures: Embodiment and Cognition in Literary Narrative (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012); and L’Humour et le savoir des corps: Don Quichotte, Tristram Shandy et le rire du lecteur (Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2016). She has published on embodiment and kinesis in Homer, Virgil, Beowulf, Chrétien de Troyes, Layamon, the Gawain Poet, Chaucer, Beryn, Cervantes, Sterne, Proust, Joyce, Chaplin, Keaton, Tati, and Eddie Izzard.