18 December 2010

IASH Lecture Series and Conference, "Embodied Values: Bringing the Senses Back into the Environment"

The Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH) in Edinburgh is organising an ongoing lecture series which culminates at the end of 2011 in a three-day interdisciplinary conference.

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.

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