Sensing the City: Experience, Emotion and Exploration, c. 1600-2013
4 April 2013 - 5 April 2013
The urban sensescape is an underdeveloped aspect of Urban History. This conference explores the ways in which people have developed relationships with, and to, the urban environment from early modern times to the present. Recently, the 'emotive turn' has sought to address the neglected yet important subjects of touch and smell in the city that Joseph Rykwert identified in his book _The Seduction of Place: The History and Future of Cities_[Ed. Vintage Press, 2002].
This conference seeks, therefore, to engage with the emotive turn to explore how people have, since the early modern times, explored and experienced the city through their senses. It also seeks to identify the types of strategies that condition the development of an urban sensescape.

'Sensing the city' is not just confined to the sights, sounds, smells, feel and taste of the city but is also concerned with the ways in which the urban landscape is managed to enhance or hinder our sensory experience: for example, how mental maps of the city were formed before physical maps were created or how circulation has been regulated by signage, improvement acts, public health interventions through to the contemporary usage of QR codes, sat-navs and app technology.
The conference will also consider how people's experiences of the city have been conditioned along class, gender and/or ethnic lines, how individuals and groups have developed their own sensory experiences of the city and how these experiences have changed over time. Finally, the conference will consider the emotional responses to the sensory experiences of place and how individuals and collectives react to a changing sensory environment.
Rebecca Madgin; Shane Ewen
Event Location: 
University of York York
United Kingdom

Date: 2012-07-06