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The shakes: conditions of tremor

Connor, Steven (2008) The shakes: conditions of tremor. The Senses and Society 3 (2), pp. 205-220. ISSN 1745-8927.

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This paper describes shaking as an action-sensation, meaning that it is an action that connotes and corresponds to a sensation. The action becomes the object of a perception that participates in the sensation. Watching the trembling of a pair of hands, it is hard to retain our composure. We seem to feel a ripple of sympathy at work in us. Shaking, then, proliferates, becomes contagious. I consider how this mode of bodily vibration can be given different meanings depending on the frame of interpretation applied to it. It can mean fragility or fear, medical condition or sacred theater. Focusing on the movements of the Quakers as sacred theater, I suggest this might be understood as a kind of performance of voice without language. Following discussion of the signification of shaking in Quaker circles, I finally ask how and where the signs and effects of convulsion linger in our own time. Shaking becomes a sign of a broad historical shift toward an electromagnetic world, a world in which everything stays where it is and shakes.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Sensation, tremor, quakers, oscillation
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Arts > English and Humanities
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2010 11:35
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:19

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