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David Howes

In: Handbook of Material Culture

Chapter 10: Scent, Sound and Synaesthesia: Intersensoriality and Material Culture Theory

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Scent, Sound and Synaesthesia: Intersensoriality and Material Culture Theory
Scent, sound and synaesthesia: Intersensoriality and material culture theory

The importance of attending to the multiple sensory dimensions of objects, architectures and landscapes is quickly becoming a central tenet of material culture theory. This sensual turn – or better, ‘revolution’ (Howes 2004) – is evident in the various references to the sensuous made by the contributors to The Material Culture Reader (Buchli 2002). In ‘Contested landscapes’, Barbara Bender writes: ‘landscapes are not just “views” but intimate encounters. They are not just about seeing, but about experiencing with all the senses’ (2002: 136). In his chapter on ‘Trench art’, Nicholas Saunders discusses the heightened sensory experience of warfare,1 and the ability of material objects (e.g. recycled munition shells) ...

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