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Presented By: Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies

EIHS Workshop: Beyond the Written Record: Exploring Past Sounds, Tastes, Smells, Vistas, and Touches

Genevra Higginson, Julia LaPlaca, Ginevra Miglierina, Estrella Salgado, Helmut Puff (moderator)

Pietro Paolini, "Allegory of the Five Senses," oil on canvas, c. 1630 (Walters Art Museum) Pietro Paolini, "Allegory of the Five Senses," oil on canvas, c. 1630 (Walters Art Museum)
Pietro Paolini, "Allegory of the Five Senses," oil on canvas, c. 1630 (Walters Art Museum)
An EIHS Multi-sensory Presentation Series and Roundtable Discussion

The past does not just consist of written words which are stowed away in archives. Just like we today, historical actors gained a sense of themselves and their surroundings through sounds, tastes, smells, vistas, and touches. What are ways through which historians can retrieve these past sensory experiences, and to what extent do they allow us to extend our engagement with the past beyond the confines of conventional historiography? In this EIHS graduate student workshop, our panelists explore these questions by shedding light on the “tactile semiotics” of fifteen-century tapestries and seventeen-century copper engravings, the visual imaginings of temple sanctuaries in ancient Greece, and the significance of the roaring boom of a cannon for a living history reenactment at an eighteen-century fort in upstate New York. As part of the EIHS graduate student workshop series, we strive to create an inclusive, collegial, and affirmative forum of exchange where participants can test and experiment with ideas which they might not yet feel comfortable enough to present in more formalized settings. Please join us in creating such a forum for our four panelists who set out to explore the potentialities of and challenges to histories which are multisensorial in character.

Panelists:

• Genevra Higginson (PhD student, History of Art, University of Michigan)
• Julia LaPlace (PhD Candidate, History of Art, University of Michigan)
• Ginevra Miglierina (PhD Candidate, Classical Studies, University of Michigan)
• Estrella Salgado (MA Student, Educational Studies, University of Michigan)
• Helmut Puff, moderator (Elizabeth L. Eisenstein Collegiate Professor of History and Germanic Languages, University of Michigan)

This event presented by the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies. It is made possible in part by a generous contribution from Kenneth and Frances Aftel Eisenberg.
Pietro Paolini, "Allegory of the Five Senses," oil on canvas, c. 1630 (Walters Art Museum) Pietro Paolini, "Allegory of the Five Senses," oil on canvas, c. 1630 (Walters Art Museum)
Pietro Paolini, "Allegory of the Five Senses," oil on canvas, c. 1630 (Walters Art Museum)

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