Touch (I)

Description

This session begins with a discussion about consent to touch and/or be touched.

Students may decline to participate as either/and/or touchERs or touchEEs, without providing any explanation.

Relational theory to this point has been presented in a relatively positive way:  connections emerging from and generating relationships among people, as has embodiment been presented as an invitation to know ourselves more comprehensively, to be open to new forms of knowing and being.  When we come to discuss, experience and practice of touch, questions of power and bodily integrity, safety and fear, danger and protection rise to the fore.

1. Exercise:  Walk around the room in pairs.  Touch furniture, walls, floors, objects.  Describe the touched objects, and the sensation/experience of touch.

Adaptation
Discuss touch as tactile and skin as sensory organ. 

2. Exercise: Invite students to recall and/or imagine the clothing they likely wore as children and/or blankets, toys, furniture they may have been in touch with. Who made and/or purchased and/or provided objects of touch?  What materials were they made of?
Invite students to reenact these prompted memories with either words and/or sounds and/or smells and/or movements.
Break into pairs:  A is presenter and B is receiver.  Reverse.

Adaptation
Discuss how touch is a way peoples experience everyday life, relations with others, senses of self, communication with others.

3. Exercise: Invite students to recall and/or imagine how and why feel and/or sense of objects were interpreted as pleasant and/or unpleasant, comforting and/or threatening.

Adaptation
Discuss how touch is a way peoples experience everyday life, relations with others, senses of self, communication with others.

Suggested Uses
  • Invite discussion of how and why touch has specific characteristics as a sense.