Disciplining Bodies in the Gymnasium: Memory, Monument, Modernism

Disciplining Bodies in the Gymnasium: Memory, Monument, Modernism

Disciplining Bodies in the Gymnasium: Memory, Monument, Modernism

Disciplining Bodies in the Gymnasium: Memory, Monument, Modernism

Synopsis

This volume focuses on the gynmasium in higher education and the various ways in which architecture, disciplinary politics and social relations have affected the disciplining of the body in the 20th century.

Excerpt

This book is the circumstance of a happy meeting place of a group of scholars who have embraced the pursuit of interdisciplinarity at the University of British Columbia (UBC). We all know the basic map of the disciplines and the enduring social structure of academic labour, but within the microstructure of our own disciplines and departments we have joined together as a larger interactional field where we have learned from, and with, each other in ways that you can see in the various chapters of this book.

We realize that disciplines legitimate our necessarily partial knowledge, so throughout our interdisciplinary conversations we have sought to move beyond that partiality. Of course, there's nothing new about interdisciplinarity or about approaching 'themes' or 'problems' from multiple perspectives, but we have tried to share our knowledge and ideas rather than compete for control over such metaphorical 'texts' as the body, the building, and the landscape of higher education. In creating our own knowledge exchange space to analyse the spaces of the gymnasium and the authors of its fortunes, as well as the architectural and human movement disciplines it shaped, we have tried to exemplify the best aspects of cross-boundary work and talking back to the centre. And we have tried to do that while some of the actors of our story are still able to narrate their stories and record their memories - though many are not. We are also aware that historians make histories which are influenced by their own perspectives and experiences, whether or not they realize it at the time. So it is clear that the memories of the War Memorial Gymnasium that we have chosen to record, and the activities which took place within it, resonate with some of our own experiences and have thus been imprinted upon our writing bodies too.

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