Video abstract for the article ‘Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Breath, Body and World’ by Rebecca Oxley and Andrew Russell
Breath, the ephemeral materialization of air at the interface of body and world, engages with and alters the quality of both. As a process of inhalation and exhalation that signals its physiological universality, breath is an invisible prerequisite for life, an automated and functional necessity. Yet it is more than simply a reflexive action and can at times be controlled or manipulated. It can also affect or be affected by experiences, environments and relationships. In this essay, like the contributors to the special issue it prefaces, we aim to address the lacuna that exists in the examination of the meanings and embodiment of breath as a central theme in the humanitics and social sciences. Interdisciplinary perspectives that explore breath as a multifaceted phenomenon, both intrinsically shared and contextually distinct, open new directions in the field of breath and body studies.