GROUP C — The Sense of Hearing

“The Period Ear” and Cognitive Ecology 11

I’ve been reading Shai Burstyn’s “In Quest of the Period Ear” with great interest — thanks, Julie, for suggesting this reading. I think there are some interesting connections between this argument and the model of ‘cognitive ecology’ put forward by Ed Hutchins. Burstyn’s thesis adapts Michael Baxandall’s concept of the […]

Morality and the Anatomy of the Ear 4

Thought people might find this excerpt from Gina Bloom interesting/helpful: “Representations of the ears as self-protective fortresses appear in a range of early modern moral treatises. In Essaies Upon the Five Senses (1620), Richard Brathwaite writes that “a discreet eare . . . cheers the affections, fortifying them against all […]

Music and Travel 2

I’ve been studying descriptions of music making found in French accounts of travel to the Levant from 1550 to 1700. At that time, the pursuit of musical knowledge was not yet a motivation for travel (this would begin in the eighteenth century), but music nonetheless had both ontological and epistemological […]

Hearing Pictures 1

            My interests in the sense of hearing revolve around the visual arts and their capacity (and incapacity) to conjure sound. As Erasmus wrote of Albrecht Dürer’s prints, they show us “the whole mind of man as it shines forth from the appearance of the body, and almost the very […]

Alfred Gell 5

I’ve been interested for a while in Alfred Gell’s work in Art and Agency, a study that seeks an art theory that reads across western and non-western cultures. He proposed animism as the underlying unifying principle, suggesting how the west remains a deeply animist society. In particular, his work on ornamentation […]