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Graduate Research Seminar Series, Lent Term 2018: 'Art and the Senses'

Graduate research seminars take place at 5.00pm each Wednesday during the Michaelmas and Lent terms in the History of Art graduate centre, 4A Trumpington Street.

Each term the seminars are built around a different theme. Distinguished guest speakers are invited from across the UK and abroad, as well as from within Cambridge. The talks are followed by a short Q&A session, and informal drinks and snacks. All are welcome to attend.

The work of art is more than a visual object. It has surface, texture that can be touched, and emits or evokes sounds, smells and tastes. Recently, academic studies on the Senses have flourished, especially in the context of the material approach to visual studies; meanwhile, museums and art institutions have been considering new ways to augment visitor experience through the Senses, and better engage with visitors who have sensory impairments; and in contemporary art, performance, video and sound can incorporate more than one Sense at a time, and calls into question the primacy of the visual. This Graduate Seminar Series, Art and the Senses, seeks to appreciate the roles of the Senses in visual culture, explore the Senses’ problematic and pleasurable qualities, and ultimately offer participants the opportunity to engage with their own Senses.


Wednesday 17 January

Nose-First: Rendering Visible the Humanist Smellscape

Kate McLean – Programme Director, Graphic Design Canterbury Christ Church University & Information Experience Design PhD Candidate RCA



Wednesday 24 January

Investigating the Invisible: Optiques and Visual Culture in the French Merveilleux-Scientifique Genre (1880-1930)

Fleur Hopkins – History of Art PhD Candidate, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and Assistant Researcher at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, département des Sciences et Techniques



Wednesday 31 January

Tasting Impressionism

Dr Allison Deutsch – Junior Research Fellow, Institute of Advanced Studies, University College London



Wednesday 7 February

In Search of Lost Scents – (Re-)constructing the Aromatic Heritage of History of Art and How to Use the Nose as a Methodological Tool

Caro Verbeek – Curator and PhD Candidate, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, Embedded Researcher Rijksmuseum and International Flavors & Fragrances



Wednesday 14 February

Emergency Noises: Sound Art and Gender

Dr Irene Noy – Independent scholar



Wednesday 21 February

Touching the Renaissance: The Material Culture of Skin in Europe, 1450-1700

Professor Evelyn Welch FKC – Provost/Senior Vice President (Arts & Sciences) and Professor of Renaissance Studies in the Department of History, School of Arts & Humanities




Sensory Experiences in the National Gallery

In Conversation with Dr Caroline Campbell – The Jacob Rothschild Head of the Curatorial Department, The National Gallery, London




Illustration and the Erotics of Re-Use in Victorian Print Culture

Dr Sarah Bull – Wellcome Trust Research Fellow, History and Philosophy of Science, Cambridge


Convenors: Lizzie Marx & Lorraine de la Verpillière

Twitter: @ArtSensesCam | Facebook: ArtSenseCambridge