A Cultural History of the Senses in the Age of Enlightenment (The Cultural Histories Series)

A Cultural History of the Senses in the Age of Enlightenment (The Cultural Histories Series)

By: Anne C. Vila (editor)Hardback

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This volume examines the varied ways in which the senses were perceived afresh during the Enlightenment. In addition to introducing new philosophical and scientific models which sometimes upended the classic hierarchy of the senses, this period witnessed major changes in living and working habits, including urbanization, travel and exploration, the invention of new sonic and visual media, and the rise of comfort and pleasure as values that cut across a range of social classes. As this volume shows, those developments inspired a wealth of sensorially stimulating styles of design, art, music, poetry, foodstuffs, material goods and modes of worship and entertainment. The volume also demonstrates the period's countervailing concern with managing the senses, evident in fields like natural philosophy, medicine, education, religion, and public hygiene. Finally, it explores some of the Enlightenment's desensualizing tendencies, like the separation of sensuous body from discerning mind in certain arenas of science and manufacturing, and the late 18th-century shift away from a politics of publicity, or intense visual and aural scrutiny, toward the secret ballot. The Cultural History of the Senses set delves into the sensory foundations of Western civilization, taking a comprehensive period-by-period approach which provides a broad understanding of the life of the senses from antiquity to the modern day. Each of the volumes explores the following topics: The Social Life of the Senses; Urban Sensations; The Senses in the Marketplace; The Senses in Religion; The Senses in Philosophy and Science; Medicine and the Senses; The Senses in Literature; Art and the Senses; and Sensory Media. Superbly illustrated, this six-volume set is the most authoritative and comprehensive historical survey of the senses available.

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About Author

Anne C. Vila is Professor of French in the Department of French and Italian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. She is the author of Enlightenment and Pathology: Sensibility in the Literature and Medicine of Eighteenth-century France (1998), as well as many articles on the body in the culture of the Enlightenment. She is currently completing a book entitled Singular Beings: Passions and Pathologies of the Scholar in France, 1720-1840.


Introduction: Powers, Pleasures, and Perils of the Senses in the Enlightenment Era Anne C.Vila (University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA) 1. The Social Life of the Senses: A New Approach to Eighteenth-Century Politics and Public Life Sophia Rosenfeld (University of Virginia, USA) 2. Urban Sensations: Motion and Commotion in Eighteenth-Century Cities Clare Brant (King's College London, UK) 3. The Senses in the Marketplace: Coffee, Chintz, and Sofas Joan DeJean (University of Pennsylvania, USA) 4. The Senses In Religion: Listening To God in the Eighteenth Century Phyllis Mack (Rutgers University, USA) 5. The Senses in Philosophy and Science: Blindness and Insight Lissa Roberts (University of Twente, the Netherlands) 6. Medicine and the Senses: The Perception of Essences Patrick Singy (Union College, USA) 7. The Senses in Literature: Pleasures of Imagining in Poetry and Prose Rowan Rose Boyson (King's College London, UK) 8. Art and the Senses: Experiencing the Arts in the Age of Sensibility Sarah Cohen (University at Albany, SUNY, USA) and Downing A. Thomas (University of Iowa, USA) 9. Sensory Media: The Enlightenment in the Atlantic World Richard Cullen Rath (University of Hawai'i at Manoa, USA) Notes Bibliography Notes on contributors Index

Product Details

  • publication date: 09/10/2014
  • ISBN13: 9780857853424
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 288
  • ID: 9780857853424
  • weight: 1007
  • ISBN10: 0857853422

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