Body of Knowledge: Art and Embodied Cognition
Deakin University, June 27-29, 2019.

Deakin is pleased to host the second international Body of Knowledge: Art and Embodied Cognition conference, focusing on the intersections of art and science, to foster conversations that increase the potential for knowledge transfer and celebrate diverse forms of embodied expertise.

BoK2019 will continue to pursue the goals initiated at BoK2016, bringing together interdisciplinary researcher-practitioners including cognitive scientists, neuroscientists, philosophers of mind, physiologists, psychologists, anthropologists, computer scientists, artists and designers to explore a range of emerging theories of cognition including research on enaction, embodiment, neuroscience and social cognition.

Left: Deborah Hay. February 2011. Motion Bank. Photo credit: Jessica Schäfer.  Right: the very vary. Photo credit:  J Keane 

The first BoK2016 conference sought to “develop new discourses around arts practices, which acknowledge the cognitive integration of mind, body and world”. For BoK2019, in addition to this, there will be a distinct focus on how the arts may contribute to the research perspectives from contemporary cognitive neuroscience and philosophy of mind. To that end, the conference seeks to generate questions that explore the dynamic between an organism and its surroundings, for example by asking “How does art shift the way knowledge and thinking processes are acquired, extended and distributed?”  In addition, the themes for 2019 have been expanded to include cultures and communities of practice that offer a range of perspectives on diversity. The aim is to encourage the discussion of art as a process of social cognition and address the gap between descriptions of embodied cognition and the co-construction of lived experience. 

This expanded and inclusive approach to BoK2019 will emphasise the lived-experience of research alongside dialogue and exchange. This will be reflected in the structure of the conference—designed around a series of activated conversations. Keynote presentations will be planned as interdisciplinary conversations, pairing researchers and practitioners that have art and/or science expertise into one session. This will allow diverse perspectives to interact and promote discussion across the delegation. These Keynote Conversations will include prominent researchers and practitioners in the sciences, arts, design, social sciences and humanities.

The concept of interdisciplinary exchange will permeate the event in other ways, including an ‘audit traces’ teamtracking, recording and reporting on interactions, speculating on the way disciplinary perspectives adapt and transform. Alongside papers, performative presentations, participatory sessions and posters, BoK2019 will embrace another unconventional format, the peripatetic presentation. Details of the call for these is below.

The conference is co-sponsored by School of Communication and Creative Arts, Science and Society Network (Alfred Deakin Institute), School of Health and Social Development and, Disability, Inclusion & Advocacy at Deakin


Following the expanded focus on social cognition and diversity; we are encouraging submissions on topics such as neurodiversity, indigenous knowledge, inclusion, disability and social justice issues. And in keeping with the tradition of BoK2016, we propose the following list of additional possible themes to relate to or draw upon. We are particularly interested in submissions that make connections across research practices in the arts and sciences.

  • Materials and materiality
  • Performance and the performative
  • Space, landscape, built-environment
  • Music, sound and the body
  • Tools, prosthetics, tele-robotics.
  • Virtual embodiment/embodied virtuality, VR, AR, MR
  • Human Computer Interaction
  • Cognitive neuroscience and cultural practices
  • Philosophical precedents – Pragmatism, Phenomenology, Ecological Psychology
  • Cultural and Historical modes of Embodiment.
  • Intangible Cultural heritage
  • Sensorimotor, configuration of sensing
  • Temporal coupling and time consciousness
  • Situated, distributed and extended – studies in perception and action
  • Biology, Ethology, autopoiesis and enaction
  • New and renewed ontologies – tacit knowledge, contesting representation
  • Cognitive anthropology, cognitive archaeology
  • Embodied pedagogy, praxis and practice
Left: Waterone. Photo Credit: Rea Dennis. Middle: Alice Cummins. Photo credit: J Keane. Right: Photo credit: Kaya Barry



The conference is convened by Jondi Keane (Deakin University) along with co-organizers Rea Dennis (Deakin University), Scott deLahunta (Deakin University and Coventry University, UK), and Emma Whatman (Deakin University) with the support of the Body of Knowledge Conference International Committee. Abstracts will be blind reviewed by the committee according to the schedule below.


BoK2019 will be hosted at Deakin University’s Burwood Campus with daily transport arranged from the City Centre. BoK2019 will take place over three full days with up to eighty presentations interspersed between the Keynote Conversations.

Alongside the more conventional paper and poster sessions, we are encouraging three other modes of presentation: performative presentations, participatory sessions and the peripatetic presentation. Both standard lecture spaces as well as dance studios are available, with the peripatetic presentation should take place while walking. Please note, there will be no technical support available besides the standard audio-visual support. Proposals need to take this into account and time frames are quite strictly limited (see below). The advantage of being together on the Burwood Campus is the hub-like environment with easy-access to many spaces close together, alongside the gentle Gardiners Creek Reserve which has extensive walking trails.

Conference registration details will be forthcoming, with reduced advanced registration for accepted presentations. 

ABSTRACTS due February 15, 2019

We are particularly interested in submissions that work across research practices in the arts and sciences.

Please send 300 word abstracts to:

Include your full name_BoK2019abstract in the subject line

Attach a Word Document with two pages:

  • first page:
    • name affiliation
    • title of presentation
    • 100w bio
    • mode of presentation – indicate one of the following:
      • 20min – paper, performative presentation, participatory session, peripatetic presentation.
      • 10min – poster presentation (alongside A0-size poster of research project).
    • second page:
      • title of presentation
      • 300w abstract

Due dates and deadlines:

  • February 15, 2019 – abstracts due
  • March 30 – notification
  • March 30 Early bird Registrations open
  • April 30 Registrations open (details of registration TBA)
  • June 27-29 Conference dates