American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR), San Antonio, Texas, November 16–19, 2016
Senses and Sensibility in the Near East
Chair: Kiersten Neumann, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago, mailto:email@example.com
Description: The emergence of phenomenological approaches to landscape and the built environment has encouraged the present and ever-growing interest in sensorial experience and affectivity in the fields of archaeology, anthropology, art history, and text studies (Merleau-Ponty 1962; Tilley 1994; Hamilakis 2013). Questions of the tactile, auditory, olfactory, and gustatory phenomena of objects, spaces, and practices are starting to be explored with as much ardor as the visual, visuality being the most accessible sense for archaeologists and historians to reconstruct. Such pursuits benefit from a treatment of the senses and sense-making not as isolated passive encounters of an individual moving through the world, but rather as being intricately connected and constituted by a person’s active cultural and social context and memory.
Contributions to this session will take a multiplicity of theoretical and methodological approaches that individually yield insight into representation, reception, and interaction in the ancient world, the traces of which are preserved and accessible in both material and textual forms. This broad spectrum of papers will help bring to light culturally meaningful sensory experience, as well as the social and political dynamics of past worlds and human encounters.