Movement in Literacy | Literacy in Movement

Literacy is most commonly understood as the ability to read and write. In a broader sense, literacy is a vehicle through which humans can make sense of and give meaning to their world and themselves, “developing the capacity for social awareness and critical reflection as a basis for personal and social change” (Unesco 2006)Developments in a variety of disciplines, ranging from philosophy to neuro-science and pedagogy, have recently opened up different understandings of being (and becoming) literate and challenged assumptions about the processes of learning and world-making. These developments “argue for a revaluation of the body as actively involved in processes of world making rather than a passive decoding machine” (Bleeker 2005). This particular understanding of practical knowledge  has  enriched our conception of the role of the body and bodily movement in processes of perception and world-making.

The Movement in Literacy | Literacy in Movement conference explores the role of movement and dance in discourses on literacy. How can knowledge and experience in movement and dance enrich learningprocesses of communicating and world-making, while seeing body, movement and dance as a field/source of acquiring knowledge, stimulating curiosity, performing, criticizing, inquiring, exploring creativity and solving problems?

The special aim of the international conference is to explore an interdisciplinaryperspective on movement literacy, in order to consolidate the contributions of various disciplines (Movement Science,  Dance Studies, Pedagogy, Philosophy, Anthropology, Medicine, Psychology, Media Studies, Sociology, Linguistics, Cultural Analysis).

Questions being raised concern:

  • Meaning and movement (semiotics, activity theory, etc.)
  • Practical intelligence and tacit knowledge
  • Embodied perception, embodied cognition, embodied action
  • Social, cultural and historical perspectives
  • Educational and didactic consequences


The following speakers have confirmed their participation:

The conference is directed to an interdisciplinairy audience and will be of interest to dance and movement researchers, artists, pedagogues, students as well as interested members of the general public. 

The working language of the conference is English.

Conference team: Stephani Howahl, Diane Elshout and Denise Temme