*Sensorial collections Research-Museum-Art*
Call for chapters
Book series Univers sensoriels et sciences sociales - Petra Publisher
The idea of this book is to consider the ways in which sensory experiences
can be captured and reproduced by ethnographers, curators, artists and
collectors, or, more broadly, all those involved in modes of transcribing
the world. It is a matter of illustrating how these diverse practitioners
The senses have occupied a growing place within the social sciences and
humanities since the 2000s. In France, this trajectory was opened up with
the history of smells proposed by Alain Corbin from 1982 onwards. Yet, a
consideration of the senses as a means to connect with the material
environment has long been limited, relegated to the backstage in works
exploring taste, as inspired by the sociology of social distinction of
Pierre Bourdieu (1979), or masked by the perceptible which assumes their
transformation by different imaginaries (Sansot 1985). Anthropological
contributions to the study of the sensory, be it taste, sound, light, shape
or touch, took a considerable step forward at around about this time,
notably in Anglophone literature, helping to make the sensory a subject of
research in its own right (Howes 1987; 1991) and a methodological
imperative (Pink 2009).
In this way, a study of the senses enables us not only to have access to
contextual atmospheres and human representations but also to the
motivations of action. The range of perspectives in this field are
multiple, be it phenomenologically-inspired approaches, interrogating
perception itself (Ingold 2000); those that take a pragmatic stance,
attempting to get a close as possible to the lived experience (Hennion
2004); those that follow a more Spinozian line, with human action is
understood as emotional reaction (Laplantine 2005); or more cognitive
approaches (Candau 2000).Thus, sensory experiences, and equally, emotions,
perceptions and sensitivities - of both the observed and the observer -
have secured a firm place within the analyses of social sciences and
humanities (Gélard 2016; 2017).
However, in this context of the renewal of research fields, there has been
little questioning of the ways in which sensorial experiences and phenomena
are collected. Barbara Kirshenblatt- Gimblett has underlined the difficulty
of "showing invisible sensorial experiences" (1999) that seem to end up
unavoidably with the use of visual forms to translate taste, smell and
feeling. But how do we collect the senses? Which forms are used to archive
sensory data? What is the impact of the uses and values of the sensorial on
the collections? Does the domination of the visual over touch (Krueger
1982) call for the collection of other senses in order to maintain an
intangible sensorial experience?
If a society and a culture can be understood through their way of making
sense of sensorial experiences and the place that these give to the
manifestations of feelings, capturing these is by no means self-evident.
Involving the perceptions of the researcher and their emotions, it is an
approach that seems to contradict the requirement of objectivity on which
the sciences are based. Their eventual analysis is confronted by their
intangibility and the passage through the filter of subjectivity. It is an
approach which therefore raises major epistemological and methodological
questions for the social sciences.
Transcending the social sciences, the collection of the senses also
questions the arts. Of course, we are thinking here of olfactory theatre
(Jaquet 2015), of eat-art, or indeed of sound art, all of which require an
upfront selection of sensorial artefacts.
Yet, more generally, whether they be interactive, immersive and/or scenic,
all experiential devises raise questions about the heritagisation of the
sensorial to the extent to which they are not aiming the singular
confrontation of a spectator with the sensitive material, but rather their
coproduction and collaboration (Borillon and Sauvageot 1996). In such a
way, these practices interrogate not only how the senses are captured and
recorded in order to be exhibited, but also how sensory creations can
themselves be inventoried and archived.
Finally, the very places that serve to conserve sensorial artefacts provoke
questions about collection practices, be these collections or archives,
private or public. In relation to other institutions, museums find
themselves particularly sharply challenged when it comes to the sensorial.
While the visual and the material have long had their place within the
museum sector, other perceptive registers seem less compatible with
heritage (Miguet 1998). Objects, handwritten notes and photographs from the
field are often accompanied by interviews, music and background sound, yet
other sensorial data could be included.
This call is for classic book chapters but, given the subject matter,
proposals for sound documents or annotated photographs will also be
considered, subject to these documents being free from copyright.
Three main axes structure this book in order to circumscribe the challenges
of sensorial collections. The first is concerned with the processes
associated with sensorial collections undertaken as part of a critical
reading of the world and of the society. The second focuses on the tools
and materials of these collections and the way in which these inflect
scientific and artistic practices. The third interrogates the conditions
and premises of their conservation, or indeed, their heritagisation.
Borillo Mario et Sauvageot Anne, 1996, *Les cinq sens de la création : art,
technologie et *
*sensorialité*, Seyssel : Champ Vallon.
Candau Joël, 2000, *Mémoire et expériences olfactives*, Paris : PUF.
Corbin Alain, 1982, *Le Miasme et la Jonquille. L’odorat et l’imaginaire
social, XVIIIe-XIXe siècles*, Paris : Flammarion, coll. « Champs ».
Eidelman Jacqueline (dir.), 2017, *Inventer des musées pour demain, Rapport
de la mission musées XXIe siècles*, Paris : La documentation Française.
Gélard Marie-Luce, 2017, *Les sens en mots. Entretiens avec Joël Candau,
Alain Corbin, David Howes, François Laplantine, David Le Breton et Georges
Vigarello,* Paris, Pétra, Collection « Univers sensoriels et sciences
sociales », Paris : Pétra.
—, 2016 « Contemporary French Sensory Ethnography », *The Senses & Society*
(11/3) : 247-250.
Hennion Antoine, 2003, « Une pragmatique de la musique : expériences
d’écoute. Petit retour en
arrière sur le séminaire "Aimer la musique" », *MEI*, p.31-43.
Howes David, 1987, « Olfaction and transition: An essay on the ritual uses
of smell », *Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology*, 24(3), 398-416.
— (ed.) 1991, *The Varieties of Sensory Experience : A Sourcebook in the
Anthropology of the Senses*, Toronto : University of Toronto Press.
Ingold Tim, 2000, *The perception of the environment : essays on
livelihood, dwelling and skill, *London: Routledge.
Jaquet Chantal (dir.), 2015, *L’art olfactif contemporain*, Paris :
Kirshenblatt-Gimblett Barbara, 1999, “Playing to the Senses: Food as a
*Performance Research,* 4, 1, pp. 1-30.
Krueger Lester, 1982, « Tactual perception in historical perspective: David
Katz’s world of touch », W. Schiff and E. Foulke (dir.), *Tactual
Perception, a Sourcebook*, Cambridge University Press, New York, pp. 1-54.
Laplantine François, 2005,* Le social et le sensible, introduction à une
anthropologie modale,* Paris, Téraèdre.
Miguet Danièle, 1998, « Autour de la sensorialité dans les musées », *Publics
et Musées*, n°13, « Public, nouvelles technologies, musées », (sous la
direction de Roxane Bernier et Bernadette Goldstein), pp. 177-182.
Pink Sarah, 2009, *Doing sensory ethnography*, Sage Publications, Inc.,
Sansot Pierre, 1985, *La France sensible*, Paris : Champ Vallon.
*Submission criteria and timeline *
Abstracts in French or English of approximately 2,500 characters,
accompanied by an indicative bibliography and a brief CV should be sent as
a ".doc" file by the *6 November 2018* to the following addresses:
[log in to unmask] and *marie-luce*[log in to unmask]
<[log in to unmask]>
This should outline the questions raised in the chapter, the materials used
and the collection methods for these materials.
Any artistic or museum experience related to the theme of sensorial
collection could also be highlighted.
Authors will be informed in *December 2018* whether their proposal has been
Authors whose projects have been chosen should then send the completed
article (in French or English), or the work of art or sound or image file
before the *1 April 2019*.
The articles and files will undergo a process of peer review and, following
any demands for corrections, final versions of the selected chapters should
be submitted by the *1 July 2019.*
*Editorial committee: *
Véronique Dassié (IDEMEC-CNRS-AMU)
Aude Fanlo (Mucem)
Marie-Luce Gélard (Université Paris-Descartes/IUF-Canthel)
Cyril Isnart (IDEMEC-CNRS-AMU)
Florent Molle (Mucem)
* Anthropology-Matters Mailing List
* http://www.anthropologymatters.com *
* A postgraduate project comprising online journal, *
* online discussions, teaching and research resources *
* and international contacts directory. *
* To join this list or to look at the archived previous *
* messages visit: *
* https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/Anthropology-Matters *
* If you have ALREADY subscribed: to send a message to all *
* those currently subscribed to the list,just send mail to: *
* [log in to unmask] *
* Enjoyed the mailing list? Why not join the new *
* CONTACTS SECTION @ www.anthropologymatters.com *
* an international directory of anthropology researchers *
To unsubscribe please click here: