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Clowning around: Embodiment, philosophy and "clown logic"

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Abstract:

Breathe. Go for the unknown. Take risks. Be visceral. These are some of the thirty-six rules of clowning that I have studied with Canadian clown John Turner (Smoot of “Mump & Smoot”) for three years. In the introductory course, called “Baby Clown,” John emphasizes an “abandonment” of the intellectual mind in order to embrace the impulses and the knowing experienced through the body. “Your brain is much slower than your body,” he is fond of saying. In pointing this out he is trying to help us recognize the resistance that our intellect and reason can present to experiences that our body and our heart are open to receive.
My contribution to this panel exploring the role of the knowing, learning body involves both a brief clown performance and two participatory exercises from my clown training. While John’s admonition to “abandon” the intellect may seem to preserve the mind/body dualism that many scholars have been working to reject, this is, in fact, not the case. After the introductory workshop, John encourages a recognition that we don’t ever leave the intellect behind (and to do so would not serve us anyway). What these exercises seek to accomplish is to recognize the privilege that intellectual, rational engagement has received in most of our lives and “level the playing field.” Therefore, we do not seek to isolate the mind from the body, but rather to challenge ourselves to release intellectual control and allow the body to drive the learning experience.
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Association:
Name: 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society
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http://www.cies.us


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p493426_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Lane, Julia. "Clowning around: Embodiment, philosophy and "clown logic"" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p493426_index.html>

APA Citation:

Lane, J. H. "Clowning around: Embodiment, philosophy and "clown logic"" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p493426_index.html

Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: Breathe. Go for the unknown. Take risks. Be visceral. These are some of the thirty-six rules of clowning that I have studied with Canadian clown John Turner (Smoot of “Mump & Smoot”) for three years. In the introductory course, called “Baby Clown,” John emphasizes an “abandonment” of the intellectual mind in order to embrace the impulses and the knowing experienced through the body. “Your brain is much slower than your body,” he is fond of saying. In pointing this out he is trying to help us recognize the resistance that our intellect and reason can present to experiences that our body and our heart are open to receive.
My contribution to this panel exploring the role of the knowing, learning body involves both a brief clown performance and two participatory exercises from my clown training. While John’s admonition to “abandon” the intellect may seem to preserve the mind/body dualism that many scholars have been working to reject, this is, in fact, not the case. After the introductory workshop, John encourages a recognition that we don’t ever leave the intellect behind (and to do so would not serve us anyway). What these exercises seek to accomplish is to recognize the privilege that intellectual, rational engagement has received in most of our lives and “level the playing field.” Therefore, we do not seek to isolate the mind from the body, but rather to challenge ourselves to release intellectual control and allow the body to drive the learning experience.


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