Association of Art Historians Annual Conference
CFP: Academic Session 5
Beyond Vision: Experiencing Art Through the Other Senses, c 500–1600
Deadline for Paper Proposals: 7 November 2016
6th-8th April 2017
University of Loughborough, UK
Serenella Sessini, University of Sheffield, ssessini1 -at- sheffield.ac.uk
Laura Cristina Stefanescu, University of Sheffield, lcstefanescu1 -at-
The perception of works of art can involve more than one corporeal sense.
Even though the sense of sight is at the basis of the interaction with
images, the elements within a work of art can also lead to a multi-sensory
experience. Medieval and Renaissance artworks have the potential to reveal
interesting insights into an otherwise hardly accessible sphere, that of
perception. Through their analysis, scholars can seek to understand the
feelings and reactions of contemporary viewers. Scholarly interest in the
role of the senses in Medieval and Renaissance art has greatly increased in
recent years, establishing a new direction in art historical research.
The aim of this session is to bring together scholars interested in
exploring works of art from the audience’s perspective, and in
investigating how the experience of an image can be supported by other
senses in addition to vision. How does the visual perception of the viewer
change when other senses are provoked by elements depicted in a work of
art? Do different types of viewers respond differently to different sensory
provocations? Can the engagement of the other senses assist in particular
practices, such as devotion and moral education, or in everyday
experiences? Would the viewer respond automatically to visual stimuli by
recalling familiar sensory experiences?
We welcome papers related to these and similar questions, using either or
both contemporary and modern sensory theories, and case-studies that
explore the multi-sensory experience either of particular works of art or
as it is revealed by contemporary textual sources.
Please email your paper proposals straight to the session convenor(s).
Provide a title and abstract for a 25 minute paper (max 250 words). Include
your name, affiliation and email.
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