Thinking with the Senses: Humanitarian Sentiment and Practice – deadline 4 March 2019

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Date / time
Date(s) - 13 May - 14 May
12:00 pm - 5:00 pm


May 13th-14th 2019 at University of Liverpool

Deadline 4th March

In order to engage and motivate diverse audiences, humanitarian actors have developed communicative practices that stimulate a wide range of sensory experiences. These have ranged from austerity lunches and sponsored fasts, to art exhibits and the production of craft products for sale; from protest songs and charity singles to the sensations of voluntourism. Through these diverse activities, the full range of human senses have been engaged in the imagination of different kinds of global community, responsibility, and solidarity.In recent years a rich body of research has begun to interrogate the role that visual – primarily print and broadcast – media has played in shaping humanitarian sentiments and practices. With this conference, we seek to both deepen and broaden these conversations by considering how attention to the full range of sensory perception might develop our understandings of historical and contemporary humanitarian practices, sentiments, movements and their impacts. How might thinking with the senses enable a better understanding of the landscapes humanitarians operate within, the environments that they shape and the worlds they imagine? We are also keen to understand how giving due attention to the senses, perceptions, and perspectives of beneficiary, as well as donor, communities might better illuminate expressions of the humanitarian impulse across time and space.

We will have a limited number of bursaries designed to enable PGR, part-time and unwaged ECRs, as well as independent scholars to attend. If you are interested in applying for one of these bursaries please indicate this when you submit your proposal.

For the full CFP and further information, please visit the website :

Dr Anna Bocking-Welch (University of Liverpool) and Dr Wendy Asquith (University of Nottingham)