Embodiment Studies is an emerging, transdisciplinary field drawing on and influencing work across a range of inquiries and practices, all seeking 1) to understand human life as the life of the body in a physical universe and 2) to restore bodily experiences as an essential subject of knowledge and ways of knowing.

The Embodiment Studies concentration offers students the opportunity to engage their inquiry through the lens of the body as the ground of culture, cognition and perception. To do so is to honor the intelligence of the body and its limitless capacity for insight and liberation.

Embodiment Studies students come with a diverse set of inquiries and a shared vision – to engage in work of critical reflection and reconnection with respect to lived bodies, social bodies and the living earth.

The Embodiment Studies concentration is available to students enrolled in any of the degree options within the Goddard Graduate Institute. The Goddard Graduate Institute offers three Master of Arts degrees: The Individualized Master of Arts, the Master of Arts in Health Arts and Sciences, and the Master of Arts in Social Innovation and Sustainability.

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Learn more about the Individualized Bachelor of Arts program, and how Goddard College can help you meet your goals!


Work of the Program

Embodiment Studies students are expected to:

  • Attend residency mini-courses and workshops that explore core concepts.
  • Engage with core readings related to the various traditions of Embodiment Studies.
  • Familiarize themselves with the conversations in their field and situate themselves among the different perspectives.
    Study and reflect upon research design and ethics relevant to their areas of inquiry.
  • Ground their learning in an engaged practice: A personal practice or community engagement is designed by students with the support of faculty. Students are encouraged to choose at least one of these applied praxis areas: somatic disciplines, health modalities, methodologies of bodily reintegration, arts practices, and projects related to ecological bodies and environmental justice, projects and practices that address issues related to bodies at the intersection of race, class, gender, sexuality, national origin, dis/ability, sexual orientation or religion.
  • Demonstrate integration and embodied leadership: Students reflect on their learning through the lens of their own growth and development, understanding how they are positioned in learning and how their embodied experience of intersecting social identities shapes their learning and their leadership. Embodiment Studies students research and write critically on their own embodied social identity, including racial/ethnic identity, as part of their Change Agent and Identity Paper. This, in turn, will inform their Final Product.

Core Concepts

Students participate in inter-/transdisciplinary conversations in the sciences, social sciences, humanities and arts that inform Embodiment Studies, with careful attention to historical and social constructions of knowledge. Students engage with pertinent theory through these core concepts:

  • Embodied Epistemology: Locate, critique and seek to mend dichotomies, binaries and dualisms – such as, mind/body, knowledge/belief, self/other, spirit/matter, culture/nature, masculine/feminine, and science/art – drawing on work from an array of fields and disciplines. Engage in embodied scholarship, cultivating and critically attending to their own bodily knowing and body scholarship as essential to their work in the program.
  • Ecological Bodies / Bodies in Place: Investigate relationships to land and place and to other nonhuman bodies, and gain an understanding of the rootedness of emotions, ethics and cognition in the more-than-human world.
  • Social Bodies / Bodies in Culture: Gain an understanding of intersecting social identities and the ways that these identities shape bodily experience and knowledge. Explore the intersection of embodiment, justice, privilege, power and activism.

Important Announcement

The Board of Directors for Goddard College have made the difficult decision to close the college at the end of the 2024 Spring term.  


Current Goddard students will have the opportunity to complete their degrees at the same tuition rate through a teach-out with like-minded institution, Prescott College. Updates and scholarship funds will be available in the coming weeks and months. Information will be posted to www.goddard.edu

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