Senses Cluster: Initial Workshop

Event Information

Share this event

Date and Time

Location

Location

Clifton Hill House

Lower Clifton Hill

Bristol

BS8 1BX

United Kingdom

View Map

Event description

Description

This is the initial meeting of the new Senses Medical Humanities Strand Cluster, based in the University of Bristol's Centre for Health, Humanities and Science and generously supported by the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute.

This workshop will provide an opportunity for researchers and practitioners with an interest in senses, sensing, sensation, and the sensory to come together and learn more about each other's research and activities. By the end of the day we hope to have found a small number of common themes or issues that we can take forward, collaboratively, in smaller groups. There will be networking activities as well as a 'show and tell' session in which people will share their interests through presenting a poster, showing an object, or sharing something else related to their work. If you would like to take part in this session, please email Dr Cleo Hanaway-Oakley (cleo.hanaway-oakley@bristol.ac.uk) for further information. You are, of course, very welcome to attend the workshop without presenting at the 'show and tell' session.


A complete programme for the day will be available in January. We have a small budget set aside for covering travel costs for those not currently in stable employment, including unaffiliated early career researchers. These funds will be distributed according to need; if you would like to apply to have your travel costs covered, please email Dr Cleo Hanaway-Oakley, by Friday 4th January, outlining your interest in the Senses Cluster and explaining your financial need.


What's this new Senses Cluster all about, then?

The primary purpose of our cluster is to bring together researchers and practitioners from the humanities and sciences to work out how we can best support each other's endeavours. We will examine both historical and contemporary senses and sensing. We will be outward, as well as inward, looking. We will engage with industry and the public, as well as academics across different disciplines.

What are ‘senses’?

An obvious answer might be: vision, hearing, smell, touch, and taste. These are what are commonly thought of as our five senses. But some researchers now identify 20 or more senses, and others argue for ‘intersensoriality’, contending that senses are interlinked and it is senseless, as it were, to artificially separate them.

Senses are mediators; they enable interaction between mind and body, self and other, person and world. Senses can also hinder; they can disrupt or distort the relationship between people and their environments, either through sensory overload, sensory impairment, pain, altered sensations, or hallucinations. Given these different dimensions, the senses have long been of interest to philosophers, artists, and other humanities scholars interested in analysing or portraying the complexities of embodied human experience. Senses are also of great interest to scientists, engineers, and those working at the intersection between health and technology. Think, for example, of the recent rise in touch-based technologies: touchscreens for our phones, haptic simulators for training surgeons, and tactile feedback innovations for people with artificial limbs. People (and robots) with normative and non-normative vision can now make use of augmented reality devices, smart glasses, and computational cameras, to aid spatial awareness and help with navigation. Senses bring together our past, our present, and our future.


Image: 'Five people, each exercising one of the five senses'. Coloured lithograph after L.-L. Boilly.. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY

Date and Time

Location

Clifton Hill House

Lower Clifton Hill

Bristol

BS8 1BX

United Kingdom

View Map

Save This Event

Event Saved