the next time you are engaged in a discussion of critical theory, heavy intellectual or philosophical content— try putting a few of these hand gestures to use…
1. The Dialectic. ‘This is a dialectic and I’m going to explain it.’
Grip imaginary six centimeter object between thumb and forefinger. Rotate wrist ninety degrees, snapping into end position. Smoothly rotate back to start. Repeat up to three times depending on conviction.
Use when expressing a shift from one thing to another. Highly infectious.
2. The Tiny Dialectic. ‘I’m making a very fine distinction’
Follow directions for ‘The Dialectic’ but with thumb and forefinger one centimeter apart. Bring hand toward eyes for closer inspection.
Use when unpacking specific detail, or when too self-conscious to use ‘The Dialectic’ gesture.
3. The Critical Whirl. ‘I’ve read too much Marx and I can’t get my words out’
Circle hand clockwise in a small but rapid motion towards the audience.
Accelerate and repeat until idea unpacked.
The Glossary of Gestures for Critical Discussion
As Observed (in use by their professors, throughout the process of earning their MFA from Goldsmiths) By Jasmine Johnson & Alice May Williams