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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

IAS Fellow's Public Lecture - Body Practice on the Inside

31st October 2018, 17:30 to 18:30, Sports Hall, Josephine Butler College, Dr Tamara Kohn (University of Melbourne)


This talk draws from extensive personal correspondences with individual male African American long-term prisoners on Death Row and Life without Parole in the US to present ‘inside views’ on how personal growth is possible in an institution of omnipresent human decay. Dr Tamara Kohn considers how some of these men understand their social and interior worlds through the pursuit of a range of creative, educative and bodily practices that, in some cases, include engaging with the philosophy and the practice of martial sports. Their views push back against popular constructions of the hyper-masculine African-American male who sculpts, displays and maintains large muscles in a demonstration of bodily control in the prison. She considers how masculine imaginaries become refigured through disciplined practice and the development of bodily skills. This sort of training sits alongside other creative practices ‘inside’, that are less about control and power over the ‘other’, or the performance of resistance, and more about increasing control over ‘the self’, stimulating personal or ‘spiritual’ mobility and resilience, and honing an interior sense of worth and potential.

This lecture is free and open to all.

Details about Dr Tamara Kohn

Directions to Josephine Butler College

Map – Josephine Butler is denoted as building No. 55

Contact for more information about this event.