This is an interdisciplinary conference exploring the sensory aspects of environments of health and care, broadly conceived.
While the humanities and social sciences have seen both a ‘material turn’ and a ‘sensory turn’ over recent years, we believe there is still much fruitful discussion to be had about the potential application of sensory studies to healthcare and social care specifically. Such an approach allows an exploration of the complex intertwining of spaces, materials, technologies, bodies and human behaviour, and spans architecture and design, arts and health, history and sociology, literature, medical education, and much more. Sensory practices differ across geography, culture and institutional structure, and shape in turn how we might understand each other’s experiences of health and care as individuals and as groups. The global COVID-19 pandemic has also demanded huge changes to the sensory experience of staff, patients and carers – potentially in ways we won’t be able to perceive fully for some time.
This conference is hosted by the Wellcome Trust-funded network ‘Senses and Modern Health/care Environments: Exploring interdisciplinary and international opportunities’ (2019-22).