The Five Senses in Medieval and Early Modern Cultures: Literature and Language

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University of Bern, Switzerland

The study of the historical and cultural formation of the senses has attracted increasing scholarly interest in recent years. We invite abstracts for 20-minute papers from medievalists and early modernists (in English literary and cultural studies or in linguistics). Topics may include but are not limited to
 sensory environments
 sensory metaphors
 sensory hierarchies
 sense impairments
 gender and the senses
Papers might explore
 how sensory experiences are expressed and ordered by language
 how literature grows out of and evokes sensory experiences
 how sensations were interpreted in the late medieval and early modern periods
 how the meanings of sensory terms have changed with time
 how the knowledge of sense perception was transmitted
To maximise the interaction among the conference participants, there will be no parallel sessions. The concluding session of the conference will include a panel discussion of the outstanding problems in the fields and the trends for future research.
Confirmed keynote speakers
Professor Vincent Gillespie, University of Oxford
Dr Farah Karim-Cooper, King's College London
Professor Richard Newhauser, Arizona State University
Please send abstracts to by 15 February 2013.