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Conferences & lectures

Sensation Lecture Series

Date & time
Friday, November 4, 2022 –
Friday, December 2, 2022
11 a.m. – 12:40 p.m.
Other dates

Friday, November 4, 2022
Friday, November 18, 2022
Thursday, November 24, 2022
Friday, December 2, 2022


Erica Fretwell, Geneviève Teil, Kathleen Sitter, Christopher E. Forth


This event is free


Centre for Sensory Studies, Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture (CISSC)


Craig Farkash



Details of images from Inquiries into Human Faculty and Its Development (1883), by Sir Francis Galton

According to the conventional wisdom, sensation occupies the lowest rung of the perceptual apparatus, next comes perception, and the crown goes to cognition. This virtual lecture series aims to upset this pyramid by arguing that far more goes on at the level of sensation than is commonly thought.

It takes its cue from the English philosopher, scientist, poet and playwright Margaret Cavendish (1623-1673), who wrote: "[The] Eye is as knowing as the Ear, and the Ear as knowing as the Nose, and the Nose as knowing as the Tongue ... the Heads Braines cannot ingross all knowledge to themselves."

The four presenters will explore, inter alia, the cultural legacy of the science of psychophysics (Erica Fretwell) and the techniques of the Sensory Evaluation Research Laboratory (Geneviève Teil); the links between fighting and sensations of "aliveness" in far-right discourses (Christopher Forth) and what the creation of the Multisensory Storytelling Research Studio spells for the future of research with neurodivergent people (Kathleen Sitter).

All lectures and ensuing discussions will take place live on Zoom at the designated hour and last approximately 100 minutes. The December 2 lecture by Christopher Forth will also be presented in-person, in Room H-1120 of the Hall Building.

This virtual lecture series is curated by David Howes. It is sponsored by the Centre for Sensory Studies in collaboration with the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture (CISSC).

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