Call for Paper: Empire of the Senses: Sensory Practices and Modes of Perceptions in the Atlantic World (Special Issue)
Call for Paper: Empire of the Senses: Sensory Practices and Modes of Perceptions in the Atlantic World
Daniela Hacke/Paul Musselwhite
The History of the Senses is one of the most flourishing academic fields within Early Modern History. As corporal-affective dispositions seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching are essential for perceiving the world and the body, and – in cultural encounters – relating the self to the other. But in an effort to recover the meaning and significance of sensorial perceptions in the past, recent scholarship has abandoned the aprioristic assumption of the ‘naturalness’ of sense production. Not only has the world being perceived changed throughout history, but also the way in which individuals see, hear, smell, taste or touch has evolved; changing sensory perceptions are therefore crucial to the way historical communities have interpreted their environmental or urban surroundings or made sense of cultural encounters. While such sensorial practices played a vital role in the development of modernity, they were also essential to the cultural and political encounters spurred on by imperialism in the emerging Atlantic world.
We invite papers for a proposed special issue of the Journal of Early Modern History, focusing on the role and meaning that the five (or more) senses played in the history of European imperialism in the Atlantic world. The proposed special issue will focus on sensorial practices as forms of engagement with the Atlantic world (the physical environment, the built environment, and modes of perceptions in cultural encounters). While there have been path-breaking recent contributions to the literature on the senses in early American history, scholarship has so far tended to minimize the historicity of sensorial practices, concentrated on one particular sensory practice (tasting, listening) in a provincial context, or focused on modern and postcolonial periods. We seek papers that address:
How sensorial practices were related to each other and thus how “intersensoriality” worked in practice to construct new Atlantic sensescapes.
How sensorial interconnections helped to construct imperial spaces in the Atlantic world.
How sensory history can be used to deepen our understanding of intercultural encounters.
How sensory practices helped to construct imperial identities.
How sensory experience was linked to the development of early modern political economy and imperial rivalry.
We welcome proposals from all historical disciplines, especially those that reflect on methodological and theoretical questions in the emerging field of sensory history.
Please submit a 500-word abstract and a brief C.V. by February 28th 2014, to:
Daniela Hacke (Daniela.Hacke@lrz.uni-muenchen.de) and to Paul Musselwhite (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Department of History
310 Carson Hall
Hanover, NH 03755
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