The Senses and Society

Volume 9(3)
November 2014

In the last few decades, scholars from across the humanities and social sciences have been turning their attention on the sensorium, challenging psychology’s longstanding monopoly over research in this area. This turn has given rise to many key insights into the sociality of sensation and the cultural contingency of perception. It has also led to the emergence of a range of new subfields or approaches alongside sensory psychology, including sensory anthropology, the history of the senses, sensuous geography, archaeology of the senses, and so forth. One of the latest and most dramatic instances of this transformation in the study of perception has been in the field of museum studies and the curation of exhibitions. This special issue is dedicated to showcasing breaking developments in this dynamic new field of inquiry, which we propose to call “sensory museology” by bringing together a series of essays that delve into the history of display and the rising tide of sensory experimentation in contemporary curatorial practice.