Call for Book Chapters: "(Re)imagining body work"

Vernon Press invites book chapter proposals to be included in a forthcoming scholarly volume on “(Re)imagining body work.”

In social sciences, ‘the body’ is currently examined in a multitude of ways and has an interesting and contested role in sociological thinking and research. However, while a significant corpus of theoretical literature (Turner, 1996; Shilling, 1993; Synnott, 1993) has generated rich knowledge about the role of the body in everyday social life, ‘the body’ often acts in such work as a rather abstract and overly theoretical object of investigation which scholars talk about. But where is the researcher’s body in all the describing and theorising about the body? Such a starting point involves an understanding of the human body by undertaking the lived experiences that permeates it.

We title this call for proposals ‘(Re)imagining body work’ as a moniker to capture researchers who fully engage with their participants and their activities, as well as reflexively considering the role of their own embodied experiences in generating such knowledge. Far from having an ‘absent presence’, this book foregrounds the embodied experiences of researchers who consider the researcher’s body as a topic of, and resource in, empirical social science.

The book is not a textbook on how to do qualitative research or fieldwork. The idea behind the book is to collect original and creative ‘body work’, which makes the researcher’s embodied vulnerabilities, emotions, and experiences a focus of enquiry. Hence, this invitation for chapter proposals calls not just for traditional ‘on the ground’ (auto-)ethnography, but also for innovative and adaptive methods in finding ways to encounter the target of investigation (e.g. informants) and to address specific challenges encountered during research.

We invite researchers to reflect on their embodied performances, experiences with (challenging) research encounters, their ‘emotion/face work’ in the field, and mistakes made along the way. Possible methodological approaches to reflect upon experiences of using are:

  • Ethnography
  • Netnography
  • Autoethnography
  • Visual ethnography
  • Multi-sensory approaches 
  • Creative methods
  • Grounded theory
  • Case study research 
  • Phenomenology
  • Mixed methods

We welcome and accept proposals from various disciplines in social sciences, including, but not limited to, sociology, anthropology, archaeology, economics, geography, history, and psychology.

Proposals should include the author’s name and institution, a brief biography (max. 150 words), and an abstract (max. 500 words). Complete chapter length should be between 6000-8000 words. Please send proposals to Cornelia Mayr (

Deadline for proposals: 31st of May 2021

Shilling, C. (1993). The body and social theory. London: Sage Publications
Synnott, A. (1993). The Body Social. Symbolism, Self and Society. London: Routledge.
Turner, B. (1996). The Body & Society: Explorations in Social Theory. London: Sage Publications.

This proposal is due on May 31st 2021.

Page last updated on April 26th 2021. All information correct at the time, but subject to change.