Andrew Barry (2001) has famously argued that in contemporary society a cloud of information surrounds material objects, often via technological intervention. As this information circulates in the world, it potentially shifts the political and economic landscape. Despite the recent re-integration of subjective and objective experience in anthropological research, inadequate attention has been paid to the way that information produced by the senses impacts and shifts individual, group, and even national behavior. For example, foods and other ingested products provide an especially potent locus for investigating the way that sensory information perceived by individuals and groups (be they lay or professional) can dramatically shift the political and economic landscape in both the short and long term.
This panel seeks to bring together scholars examining the intersection of the material and the senses to explore the larger economic and political concerns implicit in such relations. We invite submissions that interrogate all of the ways that materials contribute to the production and processing of sensory information. We are especially interested in works that move beyond the higher senses of sight and sound to engage the more visceral experiences of smell, touch, and taste.
Questions to consider include, but are certainly not limited to, the following. How do sensory experiences both shape and exist within networks of social, technological, or political relations? Are the senses in some way "natural" responses to our environment, and what role does the materiality of the environment play in shaping sensory response? When is sensory experience "only" subjective and personal, when is it objective and shared, and who decides and benefits?
Interested panelists should submit abstracts of up to 250 words, paper title, keywords, and contact informationto Christy Spackman (email@example.com) and Jake Lahne (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Wednesday April 5th. Please be aware that accepted panelists will be responsible for uploading their abstracts to the AAA portal, and that abstracts cannot be uploaded unless panelists have paid for registration to the 2014 annual meeting.
New York University
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New York, NY 10003 Email: email@example.com
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