Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Making Senses of the Past: Toward a Sensory Archaeology

Making Senses of the Past: Toward a Sensory Archaeology

27th Annual Visiting Scholar Conference, Center for Archaeological
Investigations, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, USA.

March 26-27, 2010

Human interaction with the surrounding world is mediated through our
senses. Yet archaeological interpretation has traditionally been
dominated by visual descriptions, thus effectively marginalizing the
senses of smell, taste, hearing, and touch as unmeasurable ways of
engaging with the world. This has led to a silent, odorless,
disembodied, and sense-less past. Recent work, however, has explored
alternative ways to make sense of past societies, investigating
soundscapes, olfactory and haptic analyses, and somatic memory, as
well as other less tangible visual qualities such as shimmer and

This conference will bring together researchers who share an interest
in such sensory modes of approaching the past, and it will cross
boundaries between chronological periods, geographical regions, and
material specializations.

Potential themes for papers include, but are not limited to:

* the presentation of new results of sensory archaeological projects
* * multisensory and synesthetic aspects of the production and
consumption of material culture * * the recognition of sensory
hierarchies in past societies * * embodied practices, including
memory * * the dissemination of sensuous pasts in the present *

Please submit a 300 word abstract plus title to Dr. Jo Day (contact
details below). PDF files are preferred. Presentations will be
limited to 25-30 minutes. Deadline for submission: 1st December 2009.
The CAI selection committee will review the abstracts, and authors
will be notified of the decision in mid-December. Papers are eligible
for inclusion in a peer-reviewed volume published in the Occasional
Papers series of the Center for Archaeological Investigations.

Conference attendance is open to all. For registration details and
other information see:

For further information, or with any queries, contact:
Dr. Jo Day, the 2010 CAI Visiting Scholar, at (618)

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