CFP for Uncommon Senses 2: Art, Technology, Education, Law, Society and Sensory Diversity

Marc Lafrance's picture
May 2, 2018 to May 5, 2018
Quebec, Canada
Subject Fields: 
Anthropology, Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Communication, Cultural History / Studies, Social Sciences

Uncommon Senses 2

Art, Technology, Education, Law, Society and Sensory Diversity

Montreal, 2-5 May 2018


“The sensorium is a fascinating focus for cultural studies,” wrote Walter J. Ong in “The Shifting Sensorium” (1991). Ong’s words heralded the arrival of sensory studies, an interdisciplinary  field of inquiry which takes a cultural approach to the study of the senses and a sensory approach to the study of culture. Sensory Studies has galvanized much exciting and provocative research and experimentation in the humanities and social sciences and visual and performing arts over the past three decades. Uncommon Senses 2 aims to take stock of the many advances in sensuous scholarship and art practice since the first Uncommon Senses conference at Montreal’s Concordia University in 2000.

The conference is organized around three broad topic areas:

•  Crossing Sensory Borders in the Arts: The Rise of Multisensory Aesthetics and New Media Art

•  Alternative Pedagogies: The Education of the Senses

•  The Othered Senses: Law, Regulation, Sensorium (workshop - see attached CFP)

Proposals for panels (up to three papers) and individual papers relating to any of the above topics are warmly welcomed. We also invite proposals for panels and individual papers on other topics germane to the field, such as:

•  Sense-Based Research Methods (Sensory Ethnography; Film and Video; Sound Mapping)

•  Disciplining the Senses (History/Anthropology of the Senses; Sensuous Geographies)

•  Perception of the Environment (Sensescapes; Atmospheres; “The Urban Sensorium”)

•  Aestheticization of Everyday Life (Sensory Design and Marketing)

•  Social and Sensory Life of Things (Sensory Museology; Sensory Histories)

•  The Extended Sensorium (Remote Sensing; “The Sensor Society”; Mediation)

•  Political Life of the Senses and Sensation (Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality, Age)

•  Critical Disability Studies and the Senses (Mobilities, Activism, Sensory Difference)

•  Animal Sensing and Communication (Multispecies Ethnography; Posthuman Sensoria)

•  Affecting Presence (Senses, Affect and Embodiment)

•  Sensory Deprivation and Augmentation

•  Sensory Biographies and Autobiographies

The above list is illustrative, not exhaustive.

Proposals for artworks, including performances, socially-engaged works, walks, installations, 2D art, digital works, and video are also strongly encouraged.

Keynote speakers include:

•  Constance Classen (CSS), author of Worlds of Sense: Exploring the Senses in History and Across Cultures (1993), and The Museum of the Senses: Experiencing Art and Collections (2017), and general editor of A Cultural History of the Senses (2014, 6 volumes)

•  Caroline A. Jones (MIT), author of Eyesight Alone: Clement Greenberg’s Modernism and the Bureaucratization of the Senses (2005), editor of Sensorium: Embodied Experience, Technology and Contemporary Art (2006) and Experience: Culture, Cognition and the Common Sense (2016, with Rebecca Uchill and David Mather)

Uncommon Senses 2 is co-sponsored by the Centre for Sensory Studies (CSS) and the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture (CISSC), Concordia University.

The dates for the conference are Wednesday, 2 May through Saturday, 5 May, 2018. Uncommon Senses 2 will be held at Concordia University in downtown Montreal (metro Guy-Concordia)


Inquiries may be made to


•  Call for Panels opens on 1 September 2017 and closes on 15 December 2017. Please use the Uncommon Senses 2 Panel Proposal form available at:

(Must include 150-200 word abstract of panel as well as 150-200 word abstract of each paper)

•  Call for individual papers, art installations and films opens on 15 September 2017 and closes on 15 December 2017. Please use the Uncommon Senses 2 Individual Paper Proposal Form:

•  Call for Art Installations and Videos opens on 15 September 2017 and closes on 15 December 2017. Please use the Uncommon Senses 2 Art Installation and Video Proposal Form available at:

Registration opens on 1 January 2018

Conference Fee:

• Regular  $180

• Student/Underemployed  $90

Contact Info: 

Contacts: Professor David Howes ( and Dr. Marc Lafrance (

Contact Email: