Tomorrow I'll be giving a talk entitled 'Close Your Eyes: Multisensory Approaches to "Visual Culture"' at the University of Bradford's Visual Methods Research Group. The talk is based on material from Comics and the Senses, but will expand on that to consider the broader implications of multisensory analysis and thought in relation to media more generally (while also discussing comics and graphic novels of course). Here's the abstract:
Although we often speak of “visual culture” in reference to literature, art and film, it is important to remember that these forms also appeal to senses other than sight as well. In some cases, such as film and videogames, this is fairly obvious, and the incorporation of aural and tactile aspects is a subject of some discussion. In others, such as literary studies, the multisensory elements of media are less obvious and have only begun to gain attention relatively recently as part of a broader shift towards sensory theory in the humanities. When books go digital, for example, people often speak about losing the sensory pleasures of the printed book: the smell of the paper and the texture of the cover. In this talk, Dr Ian Hague will use examples from comic strips and graphic novels, forms that have long been understood to be exclusively visual in nature, to consider what sensory aspects of the media can tell us about the communication systems that authors and producers employ, and how understanding the non-visual aspects of “visual culture” can improve our awareness of the contexts of reception as well.
I've attended one other session of the Visual Methods Research Group, Charlie Meecham's talk about his project on the visual representations of the Dodo (Dodoquest) and it was a fascinating and lively discussion! It's a great group and I'm very much looking forward to presenting and getting feedback on my research.
The talk will take place from 1500-1630 in the university's Gallery II, directions to which can be found here.