Dedicated to expanding our engagement and relationality with sensory environments, the topics of engagement for these varied and wide-ranging addresses include the five senses, the haptic, the senses in motion and being-in-the-world.
"The inadequacy of contemporary models of human-environmental relationships suggests the need to reconfigure existing and historical models of the senses within new paradigms informed by the inter-dependent exchange between mental and physical ecology: that is, embodiment. This Sawyer Seminar series seeks to challenge, and to re-think, presuppositions of Western twentieth-century engagement with the world such as anthropocentrism, mind-body dualism, and isolated subjectivity. The rationale for these comparative seminars is clear: to clarify the degree to which sensory engagement in the world is a necessary precondition for the ethical self, for the intellectual self and the fully realized human being, and to articulate ways in which bodily, sensory and extra-sensory perception are being or may be re-engaged with the environment – 'nature' as both immediate experience and independent reality. Cumulatively, the intention is to think what has been lost and what acquired in our historical sensory engagements; to meditate on the effects of sensory loss and deprivation, and on the conditions for enhancement."
The next day-long seminar in the series on scenting/smell by Professor David Howes (Concordia University, Canada) is scheduled for 28 January 2011.