This article sets out in two different directions. Its spine is a post-structuralist examination of ‘touch’ as a cultural, historical entity and as a contemporary taboo in audit cultures. It ends up in a Deleuzian notion of touch as a ‘survol’ (survey) of the senses, both reflexive and transformative — claiming the articulations of a double ontology. The second register or ‘rib’ of the article sets out to act as a disruption of that narrative, claiming that the ‘survol’ disguises an evacuation of the body from the text, a flight from engendered, embodied selves whose performances are flattened out in textual rationalisation. The overall intention is not to privilege one account over the other but to set them in a relation of critical adjacency, where the reading has to be ‘with’ rather than ‘against’ the other. Such an indetermination aims to recruit an active reading. So don't just read: join in!
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