A Sensory Approach to Digital Media

Digital Culture: Innovative practices and critical theories.
ECREA Digital Culture & Communication 3rd workshop
Barcelona, Spain, November 24-25

Abstract plenary session
Sarah Pink, Loughborough University

In recent years there has been a ‘sensory turn’ in scholarship across the social sciences and humanities. This focus on the senses has had some influence in media and communication studies and visual studies. However, the existing literature in this area remains emergent rather than proposing a wider re-thinking, and the ways the senses are understood in these fields have sometimes been rooted in approaches that focus on culture and representation. In this lecture I examine the consequences of engaging such theoretical and methodological tools for thinking about media and the senses. In doing I so argue that we need to go beyond representational approaches that simply add other senses to the audio-visuality of media, or engage with the senses as a series of separate faculties. Instead I suggest how a strand in scholarship that attends to anthropology, philosophy, and the neurosciences might offer alternative routes to understanding how digital media become implicated as part of our practical activity in perceptual and material environments.

co-organised by the
ECREA Digital Culture & Communication (DCC) section,
Humanities Department and Information and Communication Sciences Department, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya,
with support from the
Centre for Material Digital Culture (DMDC),
University of Sussex, UK

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