The Attic (a name which commemorates our first physical location) is, first and foremost, a site for the research students of the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester: a virtual community which aims to include all students, be they campus-based and full-time, or distance-learning and overseas. But we welcome contributions from students of museum studies - and allied subject areas - from outside the School and from around the world. Here you will find a lot of serious stuff, like exhibition and research seminar reviews, conference alerts and calls for papers, but there's also some 'fluff'; the things that inspire, distract and keep us going. After all, while we may be dead serious academic types, we're human too.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Final Call for Papers for 'The Sensuous Object', 29 - 30 September 2011

Here’s the final (and somewhat extended) call for presentations for the workshop ‘The Sensuous Object' to be held at the Medical Museion, University of Copenhagen on 29-30 September 2011.

‘The Sensuous Object’ is an interdisciplinary, participatory workshop concerned with ways we actually engage with objects and aimed at researchers in all disciplines interested in the materiality of actual artefacts and ways of understanding objects through the senses (smell and touch, ambience, aesthetic, visual thinking, tacit knowledge, sound and seduction).

1. An actual, material object must be central and a present part of the workshop. This artefact should be or relate in some way to objects found in medical museums.

You are welcome to arrange to choose an object from Medical Museion collections,
or bring your own,
or if you send a photo of an object from another medical museum I can try and find an equivalent here,
or if we can’t find it you can use an image of an object.

2. Engagement is vital; emphasis is on demonstration, experimentation and participation.

3. This is an opportunity for presenters to try out ideas and test new formats in a friendly environment where the starting point for discussion is the object present rather than previous research results.

We anticipate the definition of sensuous and approaches to presenting understanding of materiality of objects to be varied, even experimental!

How we experience and understand objects as sensuous objects that have been realized, produced, consumed through and by our senses, and how they impact on us and how we impact on them, are just a few of the expected discussion topics. By inviting participants to choose actual objects and use them as central to their presentations, the aim is to challenge established concepts and reveal new possibilities in our experiencing of and understanding through objects, using sensuous approaches. It will provide opportunity for presenters to test ideas, try out new formats of presentation and discussion, and examine their own research through the sensuous object.

The idea for this workshop began as a way to research objects from Medical Museion’s collections and for the objects themselves to form the basis of further research. Medical Museion is a university museum at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen, with an extensive collection of historical medical objects from the 18th through 20th centuries and with internationally award-winning exhibitions. Its field is the history of health and disease in a cultural perspective, with a focus on the material and iconographic culture of recent biomedicine. Research at Medical Museion is seen as essential to underpinning university teaching strategies for collection and conservation of medical heritage, exhibition making, and other material-based communication practices.

Speakers are invited to present their understanding of an object in terms of their methodological approaches and areas of research. Research areas of confirmed participants include senses of smell and touch, ambience, aesthetic, visual thinking, tacit knowledge, sound, and seduction.

Confirmed speakers:
Laura Gonzalez (Glasgow School of Art)
Ansa Lonstrup (University of Aarhus)
Anette Stenslund (Medical Museion, University of Copenhagen)
Jan-Eric Olsén (Medical Museion, University of Copenhagen)
Carsten Friberg (Aarhus School of Architecture)
Mats Fridlund (University of Gothenburg)

Postdoc Lucy Lyons ( and PhD student Anette Stenslund (, Medical Museion, University of Copenhagen, 18 Fredericiagade, Copenhagen (

More information:
If you are interested in presenting, please email a 200 word abstract by 15 JULY. If you would like to participate but do not wish to present, please email a paragraph about your area of research by 5 September. Contact:

‘The Sensuous Object’ workshop is free and Medical Museion will provide tea and coffee breaks and host lunch on both days and a drinks reception on 29 September. Participants will need to arrange and pay for their own travel and accommodation.

Find out more here.

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