General Anthropology Division
Oral Presentation Session
This paper takes some of the ideas in my recently published book on movement and running, On Running and Becoming Human, and further explores the ways in which movement is enskilled. For human beings, movement is not inherent to our being. We are not biologically hardwired to move in specific ways; these are physical skills we learn throughout our lives. In short, movement is learned. Moving one’s body is not inherently biological nor is it wholly biological. How one can move, should move, and does move are learned physical acts. That enskilled learning shapes the ways in which we sense our surroundings and from learning to sense in particular ways, move in culturally specific ways. In particular, I consider how we (re-)learn to move and how basic embodied knowledge of movement is specific to activity, environment, and cultural context. Drawing on fieldwork in three different locations around the world, three enskilled movements, running, skiing, and surfing, are all compared and constrasted here in the explorations of how one’s environs inflect how enskilled movement is enacted. Concomintantly, running, skiing, and surfing as forms of enskilled bodily movement enact the environs of our beings through our sensory engagement with the environments in which we become.