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The shape and form of boundary walls around and within Greek sanctuaries, and the impact those boundaries had on the experience of the ritual happening within, have attracted little scholarly attention, especially in comparison to work on the powerful impacts of other elements of sanctuary architecture, and architecture more widely. This article, using the case study of the high temenos walls and those of the Telesterion temple structure of the sanctuary of Demeter and Kore at Eleusis, explores the active impact these walls had on particularly the sight- and sound-scapes engaged with by participants. As such it argues for the crucial importance of these walls at Eleusis in creating the intensity, emotion, power, and conviction of the ritual experience of the Mysteries for participants.
Problem solving, and specifically the goal of developing problem-solving competences, is a significant dimension of environmental education. Moreover, human senses and electronic sensors have been recognized as important tools in authentic problem-based learning. The purpose of this paper is to present a model to support teachers in creating didactic activities that use human senses and electronic sensors as epistemic mediators in participatory environmental education problem-based learning. The EcoSolvingS model is based on a set theoretical and practical perspectives, and on a cross analysis of a selection of environmental education problem-solving case studies. In a first part, this paper presents the dimensions of the theoretical foundations of the EcoSolvingS model. Subsequently, the results of the cross analysis of the environmental education problem-solving case studies are presented and related to the components of the EcoSolvingS model. Finally, the model is described, and its utility and future developments are discussed.
This chapter begins with surveyors Alexander and James Gerard, and their attempts to prove that they had climbed higher than Alexander von Humboldt. In examining the measuring practices of East India Company surveyors, the chapter especially deals with moments when scientific instruments were found to be inadequate. These are revealing of the importance instruments played in establishing scientific authority in a world in which the senses were unreliable. This chapter firstly considers responses to damaged instruments, and attempts at repair. This is followed by a discussion of surveyors’ fieldbooks and inscriptive practices. It concludes with an examination of ongoing problems – both conceptual and material – with instruments designed in Europe by those with no experience of the Himalaya. The chapter argues that the staggered recognition of the true scale of the Himalaya reveals multiple levels of displacement in scientific practice: between those in the mountains, those in Calcutta and those in London. In so doing, it emphasises the laboriousness of the instrumental measurements necessary to impose, if incompletely, a form of universality that made global comparisons possible.
Chapter 4 considers the significance of embodied encounters between musicians, listeners and musical instruments. It takes as its focus the experience of touch in musical encounters, charting the sensory intensities and eroticism inherent in fin-de-siècle literary depictions of touching musical instruments and scores and in feeling the transmission of the material touch of music in performance. The chapter examines encounters between bodies and musical instruments in Richard Marsh’s ‘The Violin’, Forster’s ‘Dr Woolacott’ and the anonymous pornographic novel Teleny. Tactile proximity between musician and instrument sees the musical instrument transformed in these texts into a technology for the transmission of touch. The experience of piano playing in Forster’s A Room with a View with Woolf’s The Voyage Out similarly suggests that tactile interaction between the body and the musical instrument allows for marginalized subjects to more fully inhabit a sense of their desiring bodies. Finally, in Vernon Lee’s writing about the archival remains of eighteenth-century music, her sensuous affective connection with the historical past is articulated through a wish for restored tactile contact.
Drawing on an ambitious range of interdisciplinary material, including literature, musical treatises and theoretical texts, Music and the Queer Body explores the central place music held for emergent queer identities in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. Canonical writers such as Walter Pater, E. M. Forster and Virginia Woolf are discussed alongside lesser-known figures such as John Addington Symonds, Vernon Lee and Arthur Symons. Engaging with a number of historical case studies, Fraser Riddell pays particular attention to the significance of embodiment in queer musical subcultures and draws on contemporary queer theory and phenomenology to show how writers associate music with shameful, masochistic and anti-humanist subject positions. Ultimately, this study reveals how literary texts at the fin de siècle invest music with queer agency: to challenge or refuse essentialist identities, to facilitate re-conceptions of embodied subjectivity, and to present alternative sensory experiences of space and time. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.
What does Aquinas mean when he speaks of ‘spiritual’ change in explaining sense perception? This chapter is partly exegesis of that notion, partly explication of the author’s own previous invocation of ‘spiritual’ change to characterise the way perception for Aristotle takes on sensible form without matter, and partly explanation of why in philosophy since Descartes it is so difficult to understand how for Aristotle and Aquinas perception is both physical and mental. For both thinkers, it is an ‘unordinary’ physical alteration. That does not make it a ‘mental’ event in any sense that contrasts with ‘physical’. In sight the eye is coloured by the sensible form of red conceived not as a natural form, but as what Aquinas calls an intentio. The notion of intentio here expresses the idea of cognitive awareness, or of sensible form causing knowledge in a being which has the power of cognition. Aquinas calls sight the ‘most spiritual’ of the senses because, whereas with the operation of the other senses ordinary natural processes are required either as causal antecedents or concomitant effects, in sight there is no similar natural change at all. In its power of cognition alone we reach the end of explanation.
Lording Barry’s play, Ram Alley, is a sensory mêlée, written for performance in 1608 and staged by the Children of the King’s Revels company at the Whitefriars playhouse. This chapter explores the world of ‘Ram Alley’, both the area staged in the play, and the real alleyway of that name, a short distance from the playhouse. Using recent scholarly work on the early modern senses, it connects the physical and imagined worlds through an exploration of the perception of a significant segment of the contemporary audience – the men of the Inns of Court whose rooms abutted on the real Ram Alley. Barry shifts our understanding of sensory hierarchy from the supremacy of the visual – an ocular centricity which has classical antecedents and becomes the dominant ideology emerging from the Renaissance - to the olfactory. This chapter demonstrates how the play’s challenge to dominant sensory theory reflects Ram Alley’s wider transgressive intersensoriality.
In De Anima II.6, Aristotle divides perceptibles into three kinds: “special” perceptibles such as colors, sounds, and flavors, which can be perceived in their own right by only one sense; “common” perceptibles such as shapes, sizes, and movements, which can be perceived in their own right by multiple senses; and “incidental” perceptibles, such as the son of Diares, which can be perceived only “incidentally.” In this chapter, I explain what this division amounts to. First, I argue Aristotle’s distinction between perceiving something in its own right and perceiving it incidentally marks a causal distinction: what is perceived in its own right causes perception as such, while what is perceived incidentally coincides with what is perceived in its own right. Second, I argue that, for Aristotle, special perceptibles, unlike common ones, belong to homogeneous bodies on account of their chemical composition and affect sense organs along a range between contrary extremes. Finally, I explain the primacy Aristotle assigns to special perceptibles and his claim that perception of them alone is free from error. I conclude with some brief reflections on the primary/secondary quality distinction.
Why is the human mind able to perceive and understand the truth about reality; that is, why does it seem to be the mind's specific function to know the world? Sean Kelsey argues that both the question itself and the way Aristotle answers it are key to understanding his work De Anima, a systematic philosophical account of the soul and its powers. In this original reading of a familiar but highly compressed text, Kelsey shows how this question underpins Aristotle's inquiry into the nature of soul, sensibility, and intelligence. He argues that, for Aristotle, the reason why it is in human nature to know beings is that 'the soul in a way is all beings'. This new perspective on the De Anima throws fresh and interesting light on familiar Aristotelian doctrines: for example, that sensibility is a kind of ratio (logos), or that the intellect is simple, separate, and unmixed.
Roslyn Jolly’s chapter discusses the particular burden carried by the prose of the travel writer. Travel writing faces such potentially opposing tasks as to render a foreign scene strange and exotic while bestowing it with an air of authenticity and verisimilitude, and in doing so makes it appeal to the senses and exercises telling control or choice of narrative perspective. These various pressures and strategies appear fairly consistently throughout the long history of travel writing, which takes in Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Henry James, Robert Louis Stevenson, George Orwell and Jonathan Raban. They also cross into prose fiction, where it is influenced by the travel memoir or tourist guide.
Scholars of early Christian literature acknowledge that oral traditions lie behind the New Testament gospels. While the concept of orality is widely accepted, it has not resulted in a corresponding effort to understand the reception of the gospels within their oral milieu. In this book, Kelly Iverson reconsiders the experiential context in which early Christian literature was received and interpreted. He argues that reading and performance are distinguishable media events, and, significantly, that they produce distinctive interpretive experiences for readers and audiences alike. Iverson marshals an array of methodological perspectives demonstrating how performance generates a unique experiential context that shapes and informs the interpretive process. Iverson's study explores the dynamic oral environment in which ancient audiences experienced the gospel stories. He shows why an understanding of oral performance has important implications for the study of the NT, as well as for several issues that are largely unquestioned by biblical scholars.
Chapter 5 focuses on the material and sensory conditions of Harare’s Magistrates’ Courts at Rotten Row. It specifically examines how human rights lawyers and their clients incorporated the material and sensory conditions in these courts into their courtroom performances, which drew attention to the shortcomings of the courts as spaces in which to the display state authority. While the Magistrates’ Courts were full of spatial and symbolic trademarks that aimed to highlight the power of the law, the political and economic situation in Zimbabwe after 2000 had severely damaged the courts’ material condition. The real and symbolic effects of this material decline undermined law’s authority. For human rights lawyers, these conditions were further indicative of the government’s preoccupation with law’s coercive rather than legitimating utility. Through visual, olfactory and auditory reminders of the horrific conditions in police detention, ZANU-PF demonstrated its control over activists' and lawyers' bodies and minds. Lawyers and their clients, however, also used these sensory dimensions to contest the state's authority. By calling attention to their dirty, damaged and smelly bodies in the dock, lawyers and defendants aimed to expose the decline in moral and professional conduct they observed within Zimbabwe’s judicial and police services.
Creativity is very important for designers, and methods to stimulate designers' creativity are the long-term focus of art design education. The senses are an important channel for designers to receive information and define core issues. Stimulating the designer's senses can help enhance their perception and creativity, and is of great benefit for the quality and efficiency of the design outcome. Today's interactive media technology provides more possibilities and advantages for designers' perception and sensation. The purpose of this research is to explore a way to stimulate the designer's senses through the use of interactive media, thereby improving the designer's design thinking and creativity, and providing designers with innovative design support. By means of interactive ground projection and experiments, and discussion of the advantages of interactive media to stimulate designers' senses, this research proposes innovations in art design educational media, which is valuable for the training and learning of designers and the development of virtual education environment in the future.
Apart from three early experiments in playwriting, Wallace Stevens was almost entirely a poet. Yet the fact that Stevens positioned himself so adamantly in the realm of poetry and kept away from the art of the novel does not mean he did not ponder questions of aesthetic affinity. In a 1948 letter, for instance, he shared his perspective on Marcel Proust: “The only really interesting thing about Proust that I have seen recently is something that concerned him as a poet. It seems like a revelation, but it is quite possible to say that that is exactly what he was and perhaps all that he was.” When we consider Proust’s use of similes as well as the way Proust intertwines his studies of the senses, time, and the resources of memory in his monumental work, we begin to grasp Stevens’s appreciation of the French novelist. Goldfarb’s chapter amplifies Proust’s presence in Stevens in three segments: the first addresses Stevens’s relation to modernist fiction; the second probes Stevens’s insight into Proust’s writing style; the third focuses on Proustian echoes in Stevens’s verse, particularly on the interlacing themes of the senses, time, and memory in shorter poems across different volumes.
This is the first study of Renaissance architecture as an immersive, multisensory experience that combines historical analysis with the evidence of first-hand accounts. Questioning the universalizing claims of contemporary architectural phenomenologists, David Karmon emphasizes the infinite variety of meanings produced through human interactions with the built environment. His book draws upon the close study of literary and visual sources to prove that early modern audiences paid sustained attention to the multisensory experience of the buildings and cities in which they lived. Through reconstructing the Renaissance understanding of the senses, we can better gauge how constant interaction with the built environment shaped daily practices and contributed to new forms of understanding. Architecture and the Senses in the Italian Renaissance offers a stimulating new approach to the study of Renaissance architecture and urbanism as a kind of 'experiential trigger' that shaped ways of both thinking and being in the world.
The study of poetry is a study of technique – metaphor, simile, sound, syntax, and so on. Chapter 11 of The Cambridge Companion to Sappho illuminates the technical features of Sappho’s poetry, to help us understand why she was so famous an example of lyric expression in the ancient world.
This chapter explores how taste’s epistemological utility in the early modern period was compromised by its disreputable moral status: taste was often identified as the cause of Adam and Eve’s fall. Nonetheless, sacramental tasting held out the promise of redemption. Eucharistic practices, I propose, provide a crucial context for the Protestant poetics of authors including George Herbert, Andrew Marvell, and Amelia Lanyer. Frequently, for instance, the language of taste is used – with varying levels of commitment – to affirm the superiority of experiential faith over clerical and scriptural authority. Simultaneously, religious writing, from poetry to polemic, offers a neglected source to uncover popular understandings and experiences of everyday, physical tasting. In particular, even banal, quotidian experiences of eating were conceived of as opportunities for spiritual illumination, precisely – and paradoxically – because of the fallenness of taste.
This chapter turns to medical writing in order to probe the relationship between literary taste and taste as an object and faculty of empirical investigation. In anatomical textbooks – notably Crooke’s Mikrokosmographia – ‘taste’ slides referentially between gustation and readerly discrimination. Against a conventional scholarly supposition that anatomical history follows a trajectory away from classical authorities towards the empirical certainties of sense experience, I contend that this semantic flexibility emblematises an early modern insistence on the productive complementarity of proto-scientific empiricism and philological erudition, bodily sensation and mental judgement. The complementarity also has implications for our understanding of early modern subjectivities, pointing to a notion of selfhood that is simultaneously sensorially and textually inscribed, grounded both in physical experience and in the acquisition of knowledge.
This chapter brings print and manuscript commonplace books into dialogue with anti-theatrical diatribes and defences of poetry in order to establish that literary taste, usually dated to the eighteenth century, emerges much earlier in the humanist trope of the reader as bee, using the sense of taste to discriminate between rhetorical ‘flowers’. Through a reading of Anne Southwell's commonplace book, I claim that in the context of humoral psychology, this trope possessed a literal dimension: contemporary sensitivity to the flavour of gall ink corresponds to the suggestion that literary judgement is exercised through actual acts of tasting. Focusing on Ben Jonson’s paratexts, I submit that this has implications for how we understand the politics of taste: locating judgement at the bottom of the sensory hierarchy, ‘taste’ democratises critical authority.
This chapter investigates taste’s paramount importance to the production and legitimisation of experimental knowledge by early Royal Society members, including Robert Boyle, Robert Hooke, and Nehemiah Grew. Early scientists attempted to classify the properties of substances by reference to their flavours; in so doing, they aimed to develop medicines and technologies that could return humankind to prelapsarian felicity. Their efforts chime with Royal Society propaganda, which depicts taxonomical tasting as an inversion of Adam and Eve’s catastrophic gustation. Research into taste as a physiological process, however, presented gustation as subjective, disrupting the link between taste and objective knowledge that undergirded this rhetoric.