Word of Mouth: When Our Lips Speak Together



  • Word of Mouth: When Our Lips Speak Together



  • Our session nestles into a gap between misreading and citation, between ways of knowing prompted by sound, sight and those facilitated by touch. The misreading? The word “gap” can also be “gape” thanks to their shared roots in the German word “gaffen,” which means to gape, to open the mouth wide, to yawn. And the citation? “When Our Lips Speak Together” is the title of philosopher Luce Irigaray’s seminal 1977 essay in which she both models a form of critical thought that speaks the body while also calling for a tactile poetics that moves beyond a binary logic of conflict.

    We will attend, therefore, to the mouth, to word of mouth, to lips moving together and to the circles that spiral from in and out of the mouth.
    Our workshop invites participants to feel their mouths and bodies, to gape and yawn, pucker, lick, laugh, gnash, breathe, and hum — moving from the lips inwards to teeth and tongues and deeper into the throat and lungs through a series of guided provocations. We ask who speaks, what speaks, who is allowed to speak, and what gets spoken. While “word of mouth” points to a generally maligned oral tradition, how might we reclaim it together, passing ideas along mouth to mouth?