Geographies of the Sensory

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups:
Poster #:
Day: 4/14/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM (MDT)
Room: Gallier B, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Organizers: Erin Sanders-McDonagh
Chairs: Dawn Lyon


Geographies of the Sensory

In the past two decades, there has been what we might call a ‘sensory turn’ in research methods. Geographers and anthropologists have been at the forefront of using innovative and sensorial methods to better understand relations between people, things, times, places and spaces. Sociologists have also been hugely influential in pushing forward new and ‘livelier’ methods that deepen our grasp of the sensory dimensions of social interactions and relations. And feminists scholars across the social sciences have long called for the development of more situated and sensorially attuned research practices. There is now an array of voices - including those of Les Back, Doug Harper, Dawn Mannay, Claudia Mitchell, Sarah Pink and Gillian Rose – arguing for more creative ways of conducting research that are able to grapple with the complexities of twenty-first century life.

This session invites papers from people employing, exploring or experimenting with sensorial methods. Our interest is in a wide range of methods that make use of the senses - the visual and the auditory as well as the haptic, olfactory, and gustatory - as a tool or subject of research. We would like to stimulate discussion on the gains, potential and limits of sensory methods for specific research questions and projects through consideration of conceptual and empirical work across different fields. We are particularly interested in research that engages with the material world and uses material objects to push forward our understandings of what sensory research is and what it can do. We consider the temporal to be an important aspect of sensory research and invite papers that consider time, motions, rhythms, or modes of stasis. In addition, we hope to attract papers that consider the impact of using sensory methods in relation to the experience of the research process, the character of knowledge produced, and the challenges and opportunities for transmission through teaching as well as publication.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Olivia Mason*, University of Durham, A thru-hike on the Jordan Trail as sensory method 20 8:00 AM
Presenter Elisa Fiore*, Radboud University, Embodying Gentrification: A Multisensory Ethnography of Rome’s “Banglatown” 20 8:20 AM
Presenter Erin Sanders-McDonagh*, UNIVERSITY OF KENT, Walking with Sex Workers: An Examination of Mobile Methods and Multisensory Ethnography 20 8:40 AM
Presenter Aidan Hysjulien*, University of Georgia, Researching Spatial Praxis: Using Walking Interviews to Weave Theory and Practice 20 9:00 AM
Presenter Michael Javorski*, University of Durham, Methods for Rhythmanalysis 20 9:20 AM

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