Senses in the City (Panel)

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Arianna Fognani
contact email: 

Dear Colleagues,

please consider submitting an abstract to the following roundtable at the NeMLA's 53rd annual convention in Baltimore, MD (U.S.) from March 10 to 13, 2022.

FORMAT: Panel. 3-4 participants, reading a formal paper of 15-20 minutes (2500-3000 words) as set by the chair, followed by Q&A.

DESCRIPTION: The purpose of this panel is to reconsider the hegemony of vision and bring to the fore the role of the other senses, as well as their interplay, in the representation of cities. From the invention of the pictorial perspective to contemporary surveillance systems, sight has shaped the ways in which the cities have been conceived, experienced, and represented. Although vision remains among the guiding principles to engage with the representations of the environment, the role of sound, smell, touch, and taste can suggest modalities to deepen and expand the interpretation of urban narratives. Following the sensorial turn, concepts of soundscape, smellscape, tactile space, and food scape now offer innovative perspectives to analyze experienced or imagined representations of cities in Italian visual and literary works. 

FOCUS: This panel seeks contributions that focus on sensorial and multisensorial representations of the city in Italian texts, broadly defined. It welcomes interdisciplinary approaches that explore the function of a single, multiple, or all senses. Possible questions to consider may include: How do senses frame urban spaces and buildings? How are the senses used as hermeneutical tools to explore, interact, and construct cities? How do the senses contribute to the understanding of social, cultural, political, environmental dynamics in urban contexts? How are the senses deployed to define diversity? How do they reenact practices of inclusion and/or exclusions in cities?  

PROPOSAL SUBMISSION DEADLINE: September 30, 2021. The decision will be made by October 15, 2021. You don’t need to be a member of NeMLA to send your proposal. 

INSTRUCTIONS: For consideration, please upload a 250-300 word abstract in English or Italian, with a proposed title and a brief biography here: 

CHAIR: Dr. Arianna Fognani.