Sending Chills Up My Spine: Somatic Film and the Care of the Self

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientific


In this chapter, Max Ryynänen discusses somatic film culture. Films are consciously made to produce somatic stimulation and the audience aspires to get this somatic stimulation. Examples of this kind of film use are horror, thrillers, and action movies. We feel itching in the sole, we jump up from the chair, and we feel physical disgust. This form of film Ryynänen calls somatic film. What do we learn from our bodies when we watch somatic film? Ryynänen approaches the problem through a Foucauldian perspective. In the last part of the history of sexuality, Care for the Self, Michel Foucault raised discussion about the return of (Western) bodily self-care, once central for the stoics and now again present through the contemporary project of well-being. Through challenging oneself and through reflecting on one’s own borders through film might be a form of care of the self, and a way for us to not just experiment and reflect, but to teach ourselves and learn through film about our own bodies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArt, Excess, and Education
Subtitle of host publicationHistorical and Discursive Contexts
EditorsKevin Tavin, Mira Kallio-Tavin, Max Ryynänen
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-21828-7
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-21827-0
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeB2 Part of a book or another research book


  • film
  • film theory
  • film studies
  • somaesthetics
  • philosophy
  • philosopy of the body
  • body philosophy
  • the stoics

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Sending Chills Up My Spine: Somatic Film and the Care of the Self'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this