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Art History CFPs for RSA 2018 New Orleans
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Early modern sensory and spatial thresholds

Posted By David Karmon, Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Sensory studies have begun to critically expand our ways of thinking about how people interacted with buildings and spaces in the early modern world. This session builds on this momentum by exploring the sensory experience of early modern physical environments, focusing in particular on how the experience of thresholds, edges, and borders triggered powerful responses and shaped new kinds of knowledge. Cultural anthropologists such as Arnold Van Gennep and Victor Turner have long emphasized the significance of such liminal transitions, the ceremonial “rites of passage” that signal key moments of transformation. It is clear that sensory experience plays a vital role in negotiating these transitions, where our sensitivity to sensory stimuli is often at its most acute precisely at the moment when we first enter into a new setting. How did people in the early modern world respond to these sensory impulses, where entering a new physical environment might also mean entering into a new state of being?

Proposals should include the author’s name, professional affiliation, and contact information; a preliminary title; a brief abstract (150 words or less); a brief curriculum vitae (300 words maximum). Please submit proposals to by Wednesday 31 May 2017.

Tags:  architecture  corporeality  early modern  new approaches  senses  sensorium  sensory experience  sight  smell  sound  space  taste  touch  urbanism 

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