CFP EMSE 2022: Early Modern Sensory Experiences 9-10 June 2022, Kellogg College, University of Oxford

Leah R. Clark Announcement
United Kingdom
Subject Fields
Architecture and Architectural History, Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Early Modern History and Period Studies, Islamic History / Studies, Music and Music History

EMSE 2022: Early Modern Sensory Experiences

9-10 June 2022, Kellogg College, University of Oxford

The University of Oxford and the Open University are pleased to announce a new initiative that will explore early modern sensory experiences by way of an annual interdisciplinary conference.

Interest in sensory experiences of the past has grown in recent years, with scholars engaging with both interdisciplinary and anthropological approaches in order to better understand historical lived experiences. This annual conference will explore the visual, auditory, tactile, gustatory and/or olfactory elements of particular human experiences across the globe between c.1400 and c.1700.

For the first conference under this theme, we welcome papers that consider sensory experiences from a variety of perspectives, which might include the following:

  • Contemporary perceptions of the senses in relation to particular human activities.
  • What different sources or artefacts reveal about intended and real sensory experiences in particular places or contexts.
  • The intersection of the different senses and the different components (tangible and ephemeral) involved in a particular human experience.
  • How sensory experiences were shaped by and in turn shaped cultural, social and economic conditions.
  • How the movement of people, objects, practices and their associated sensorial experiences gave rise to the transfer of similar, or the development of new, sensory experiences.
  • How sensory experiences varied according to gender, social class, race or other perceptions of difference.
  • How consideration of the senses might offer new insights into transcultural exchanges.

Papers are invited from scholars working in any discipline, including musicology, art history, cultural and/or social history, religious studies, and book history, on any geographic region.

While we understand that scholars may naturally place emphasis on a particular sense or source as a reflection of their own disciplinary background, we encourage speakers to link their approach to other sensory responses or other components of a particular human experience.

Speakers are welcome to present work in progress and/or address methodological challenges faced in their research.

Please send a 150-word abstract along with a short biography to Leah Clark ( and Helen Coffey ( by 14 January 2022 .

The conference will take place at Kellogg College, University of Oxford, on 9-10 June 2022.

At present, we intend to hold a face-to-face conference in Oxford and speakers should therefore plan to attend in person. However, we will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and will make changes accordingly.

The conference will adhere to COVID government and university guidance.

Please note that we will not be able to cover the travel or accommodation costs for speakers.

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