Panel « Histories of the Sensorium in South Asian Art »

Histories of the Sensorium in South Asian Art

We invite paper proposals for our panel, « Histories of the Sensorium in South Asian Art, » for the 2017 American Council of Southern Asian Art Symposium, October 12-15, in Cambridge, MA. http://southasiainstitute.harvard.edu/acsaa2017/

The historiography of South Asian art has tended to emphasize the visual experience of temples and other built spaces while excluding from consideration the multisensorial engagement of the body in these environments. The methodological shift emerging in new scholarship that we want to highlight in this panel moves from static considerations of style and iconography, focused strictly on the visual, to approaches that engage the dynamic multisensorial life of built spaces, and the spatial and temporal experience of those who move through them.

We solicit papers that consider issues within the full range of sensory experience and may include aesthetic pleasure and affective response. We are open to diverse methodological perspectives that may draw upon hitherto uninvestigated sources. Papers might consider the soundscape of the temple, court, city, or museum; the role of touch in devotion; the semiotics of scent; the connection between architecture and affect, memory, or performance, including dance, music, and storytelling. How do consumption and gustatory sensibility shape devotional experience? How are different kinds of pleasure solicited through built space and its adornments? How do we write a history of sense perception for the visual arts? What South Asian sources and aesthetic theories can we draw upon?  This panel is an invitation to develop methodological approaches that integrate traditional art historical sources with sensorial, aesthetic, and phenomenological considerations in the history of South Asian art.

Please send us your abstract and a 1-page CV by March 15; we will select papers by March 31.

Subhashini Kaligotla, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, subhashini.kaligotla[a]khi.fi.it

Anna Seastrand, University of Chicago, seastrand[a]uchicago.edu


Cecile Laly

CREOPS (Université Paris-Sorbonne), International Research Center for Japanese Studies

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