Geographies of Sensory Politics: Re-Thinking Atmospheres

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups:
Poster #:
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 2:40 PM / 4:20 PM (MDT)
Room: Studio 5, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Organizers: Jake Hodder, Michael Heffernan, Stephen Legg
Chairs: Michael Heffernan


In these panels we explore, in as broad a geographical sense as possible, the sensory aspects of politics: how is politics sensed, intuited or divined; what are the multi-sensory registers through which political agendas are communicated; how are spaces crafted to create political atmospheres; how are bodies disciplined to fit political spaces; how are bodies used to reject the disciplining efforts of political spaces; how do the senses disrupt political conduct and representation; and what are the challenges to reconstructing them historically?

The papers reflect on the methodological and philosophical challenges involved in researching the senses: including the range of tastes, sounds, smells, sights and feelings, accessed through accounts and depictions of the food, music, dress, aesthetics and other cultural aspects that shape political events or atmospheres. They explore the sensory tactics of political operators in particular times and places as well as, in some cases, seeking to challenge the very concept of sensory politics and atmospheres. Papers are both contemporary and historical in nature, using period and place to focus ‘in’ on particular sensory environments, or using a particular sensory encounter or site to focus ‘out’ on a wider political context (for instance internationalism, imperialism, etc).


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Ivan Marković*, University of Nottingham, Sensing past atmospheres; a green silk kimono and the sensory politics of smoking c.1880 – 1930. 20 2:40 PM
Presenter Matthew Rech*, Plymouth University, Politics, sense and spectacle: A historical geography of England's first airshow 20 3:00 PM
Presenter Stephen Legg*, University of Nottingham, Conveying Atmosphere: Weather, Failure, and the Archive of the Round Table Conference 20 3:20 PM
Presenter Shanti Sumartojo*, RMIT University, Sarah Pink, RMIT University, Thinking atmospherically: politics and sensory configurations 20 3:40 PM
Presenter Tim Edensor*, Manchester Metropolitan University, Creatively and critically defamiliarizing the world: sensing space otherwise 20 4:00 PM

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