CAPITALISM AND THE SENSES
This conference will explore the sensory history of capitalism—the ways that seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, and touching have shaped, and been shaped by, capitalism over the longue durée, from the early modern era to the present. From the stench of the stockyards to the saccharine sounds of Muzak, everyday sensory environments have been made and remade by capitalism, and as portals through which we take in knowledge of the world, the senses have been subject to manipulation, exploitation, and commodification. If, as Karl Marx contended in 1844, the senses have a history, then that history is intertwined with the development of capitalism, which has drawn on the embodied power of the senses and, in turn, influenced how sensory experience has changed over time.
We are interested in original, unpublished, and historically informed papers written from a range of disciplinary viewpoints, including but not limited to history, anthropology, psychology, historical sociology, and the history of science. We especially encourage proposals that engage with the following themes, but are open to any work that falls within this call for proposals: