Sensory Manifestations in Contemporary Urbanities

Страна: Франция

Город: Saint-Étienne

Тезисы до: 10.01.2018

Даты: 05.04.18 — 06.04.18

Е-мейл Оргкомитета:

Организаторы: Université Jean Monnet – Saint-Étienne


This collaborative conference aims to study sensory experience in urban space and to analyse its contemporary manifestations and representations from a linguistic perspective.

As the five senses are engaged by the city, the multiple sensory elements generated by the city will first have to be identified. The city is a source of visual and gustatory pleasures but also of sound or air pollution. On the other hand, although the city gives rise to sensations, as a living environment, it also forges our perception. Sensory experience can be experienced as sensation, “a conscious yet passive feeling”, or as perception, “an active judgemental representation” (Legallois, 2004: 5). This duality, as well as the expression of sensation, be it behaviourist, linguistic or literary will be our focus here.

How much is it possible to know about past sensations in the city (cf. Pardoen’s work on “the historical sound of Paris”) through the study of texts (novels, travel writings, diaries, guide books, etc.)? How have these sensations and their linguistic counterparts evolved (cf. Corbin 1982 on smells)? How much do writers rely on sensations when they describe a city (cf. Auster’s New York Trilogy or Mendoza’s Ciudad de los prodigios)? Do Modiano, McEwan or DeLillo’s writings betray sensation when they deal with perception?

The interrelation between sensation, perception and expression will be at the core of this conference. How, on the basis of a sensory feeling, can a human being develop a specific mental representation and how does he or she signify this construction? Starting from an auditory, visual, tactile, or olfactory landscape, we will try to analyse how mental representations of the stimuli are created and, more importantly, how this representation is expressed (literature, discourse analysis, oral speech, etc.) and signified? Are the three poles – sensation, perception and expression – always in line with one another?

Some of the following subjects could be analysed:

- Intimacy (sensation) and collectivity (urbanity)
- Expression of the city through the senses
- The body and the city: the city as a body and the body in the city
- Sensory metaphors and urban expression
- Baudelairian and urban synaesthesia
- Sensory manifestations, a manifesto for contemporary urbanities?
- Sensitive or sensible urban landscapes?
- The sensory and emotional expressions of the city
- Contemporary reviewing of sensory urbanities

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