The Embodied Foundation of Human Communicative Skills

21-23 November 2012

University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Scientific background

In the recent decades the insight that we socially engage in communication as whole human beings has overruled the Cartesian tradition of researching humans as compartmentalised entities. New activities in multidisciplinary research have been launched across the faculties. The purpose of the conference was to provide a proper forum for researchers to discuss and make explicit their respective theoretical assumptions and disciplinary foundations in relation to embodied human communication, i.e., emotion, language, art. This initiative enabled the merging of different specialised expertise based on an embodied view of communication.

Objective and structure

The aim of the conference was to offer a meeting place for researchers working with non-verbal and verbal communication in order to spark ideas for collaboration and common research projects. A prerequisite for everybody is the recognition of embodiment in all human interaction.
The conference was structured along five thematic sessions, each concentrating on a theme that is of special relevance to non-verbal and verbal communication. The five themes were:

  • theories of embodiment for communication
  • cognition and emotion in interaction
  • the development of embodied communication (including acquiring embodied communicative skills and compensating for loss of communicative skills)
  • embodiment in interaction
  • the importance of interpersonal experiences in learning non-verbal and verbal communicative skills

Across the five themes, special attention was paid to the interplay of non-verbal and verbal communicational aspects.  
Each session was introduced by a carefully selected key note speaker. Additional presenters in the sessions were selected via an open call for papers.

The schedule and further information about the conference is available on the conference website.

Programme Committee:

  • Hanne Ruus, University of Copenhagen (Chair)
  • Csaba Pléh, Budapest University of Technology and Economics
  • Milena Žic Fuchs, University of Zagreb

ESF Contact

For more information, please contact hum[at]