Well, last week was busy and exciting all at the same time. I have been co-organising a conference on movement and sensory experience of religious groups or in religious terms. The conference was all day last Friday, 12 June 2015, and was drew a variety of people from the US, Europe and the UK. It was a great day of fascinating papers and good networking.
We organised the day around panels of 2 or 3 20 min. papers, followed by a 10 min. response from an invited respondent. Since we grouped the panels by themes the time periods and geographical locations could vary drastically from paper to paper. To help facilitate discussion, not only with the panelists but between all in the room, the respondents offered thoughts, criticisms and questions for everyone to explore in the discussion time. The respondent all had insightful and engaging responses that fostered great discussion. I was glad to be apart of the conference and made many new colleagues in the field of Sensory Studies.
Following the conference, and coming out of some of the discussion, we set up Sensory Studies in Antiquity. The site is for those interested and working in the field and will have events and resources posted as they arise. They sight is not limited to the listed authors but open for researchers in the field. If you are interested in participating on the site, as an author, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Authors will be listed on the site and can write posts about upcoming events or offer ideas for discussion on the blog. We hope that the site will provide a space for the growing, and quite diverse, community of scholars and students researching in the field of sensory studies in the ancient world. You can also follow Sensory Studies in Antiquity on Twitter for updates.
I should have posted these before the conference but, I have put the abstracts from Religious Movement & Sensory Experience here. The conference was fantastic and I will post about the day later this week.
The conference I am co-organising is coming up this Friday!
I am pretty excited to hear what our presenters have to share, as well as further network with the sensory studies in Antiquity folks. There is still some space left and it looks like it will be great day of discussion/research sharing among the growing number of sensory studies people in Classics/Ancient History/Archaeology/Digital Humanities. Details can be found here.
This last weekend was the Classical Association conference, which is the main academic conference for the field of Classics in the UK. One of the themes of the conference was the senses and I presented a paper in a session on The Senses in Roman Life. The paper took up the acoustics of the Baths of Neptune in comparison with Seneca’s description of noises he hears from the bath complex beneath him (Letter 56).
My paper was well received and I had a number of great questions afterwards. It was helpful to get feedback from others, several of which brought up questions or points I had not thought of. I had a couple of people comment on the originality and creativity of my project. It was nice to have someone else affirm that my studies are not as crazy as I sometimes think it might be. I was struck by the number of PhD students taking up sensory experience type topics in a variety of manners. It was also a great opportunity to meet and network with other academics working in sensory studies. Plus, there were some potential publication opportunities for my paper!
In all it was a great weekend, which left me exhausted but with a healthy dose of motivation to get my own project back underway.
A list of Senses panels at CA.
My (original) abstract.