Performing the sensory body in a tandem cycling group: Social dialogues between blindness and sight

Gili Hammer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This chapter discusses the sensuous and social encounters within this group’s activities, considering the dialogues among people with varied sensory skills and the interactions this somatic setting enhances. It addresses social interactions among the members, participants’ understanding of their bodily identities, and somatic experiences of the sensory body within tandem cycling as expressing a ‘dialogical performance’ (Conquergood, 1985) and ‘performative reflexivity’ - encounters that allow the creation of intimate conversations and critical ‘self-reflexive knowledge’. The chapter expresses that the inclusive tandem cycling observed engenders a dialogue between and about blindness and sight, enabling new understandings of what a body can do and what disability is. Tandem cycling’s uniquely collaborative and intersensory characteristics provide a rich environment for a meeting between sighted, blind, and visually impaired people with a wide variety of bodily, sensory, and visual skills, through which binary definitions of and boundaries around the senses, social identities, and the ability/disability hierarchy are challenged.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationSeeking the Senses in Physical Culture
Subtitle of host publicationSensuous scholarship in action
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781317328490
ISBN (Print)9781138100589
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 selection and editorial matter, Andrew C. Sparkes; individual chapters, the contributors.


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