Luann Fortune, PhD, is a member of the faculty in the College of Integrative Medicine and Health Sciences at Saybrook University. She is also the Director of the Healthcare Practice specialization and the Healthcare Systems specialization for doctoral students in integrative medicine.
Dr. Fortune led the panel titled, The Embodied Researcher, at the 2015 Annual Meetings of the Society for Phenomenology and the Human Sciences (SPHS) on October 9 in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Fortune was joined by colleagues Stephanie Linsday, PhD, research faculty, and Cliff Smyth, MS, doctoral student, from the College of Integrative Medicine and Health Sciences, along with Ann Ritter, a doctoral candidate at Fielding University. In this 34th annual conference, SPHS hosted three days of scholarly sessions with an over-arching focus on both theoretical and applied phenomenology.
The Embodied Research panelists offered an innovative combination of scholarly presentations and experiential exercises. In keeping with the conference’s theme, phenomenological literature abounds with discussions to affirm the body through reflection and exploration. This panel focused on applying theoretical perspectives to research applications. The presenters proposed a conceptual model as well as specific techniques for incorporating embodiment into scholarship and research. In four consecutive and interlinking segments, the panelists demonstrated strategies and tactics on three dimensions: honoring body-based subject matter, integrating the bodily perceptions into data collection, and using body-mindfulness to increase research validity, clarity, and authenticity.
The presenters argued for a need for researchers and scholars to highlight dimensions of embodiment in their topics, participants, and themselves while conducting their work.
The techniques offered along with the call for research on body-based practices and experiences were not limited to phenomenology. The panelists invited continued interaction and discussion from all perspectives via their blog. They are exploring options for a book on the topic as well.
The Embodied Research blog is open for public conversation. It can be found at http://embodiedresearch.com