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We are delighted to announce ‘The Moving Bodies Lab’, one of six Labs in the new Discovery Research Platform for Medical Humanities.

Public health initiatives and interventions aimed at encouraging people to ‘sit less’ and ‘move more’ are commonplace, yet policy gains from such promotional efforts are modest. Calls from across the medical and social sciences increasingly emphasise the need to rethink our approach to understanding moving bodies; that more of the same is not enough. The question is: How?

Led by Cassandra Phoenix, alongside a cross-disciplinary team within the Institute for Medical Humanities, involving Sarah Atkinson, Megan Girdwood, Tessa Pollard and Fraser Riddell, the Moving Bodies Lab is an interdisciplinary lab dedicated to expanding dominant framings of bodily movement within the context of public health and wellbeing.

Part methods incubator, part research hub, Lab activities explicitly seek to identify and bridge different framings of moving bodies from across the social sciences, arts, and humanities, broadening what and how they are understood and included in health and wellbeing contexts. This is achieved through conceptual, methodological and practice-based explorations that foreground scale (e.g. spaces, speed, stillness, amplitude, depth of movement), relations (e.g. moving for, with, through, within, in spite of), and sites (e.g. material, intangible, as collectives, single bodies, body parts) of embodied moving matters.

I am very excited to be a collaborator with the Moving Bodies Lab. It is a time of huge opportunity and attention to mobility, embodiment, and the development of new tools, technical and creative, to monitor and measure health and wellbeing. Equally I am excited to be part of an interdisciplinary lab in which theoretical and critical thinking on different assemblages of place and practice, especially in immersive green/blue settings, deepen emotional and experiential knowledge on the moving body and the body being moved.

Associate Professor Ronan Foley, Department of Geography, Maynooth University.

WalkingLab, an international network of walking artists, pedagogues and researchers, is thrilled to be collaborating with the Moving Bodies Lab on this significant and innovative venture. We look forward to connecting though our work on mobile methods and the intersections between walking, mobility and social justice.

Professor Stephanie Springgay, Director of WalkingLab and Director of the School of Arts,
McMaster University.

If you have any questions about the work of the Lab, or are interested in getting involved, please get in touch with Cassandra Phoenix or any member of the core Lab team listed above.

Find out more about the Discovery Research Platform for Medical Humanities.