Deepest Sense A Cultural History of Touch

ISBN-10: 0252078594

ISBN-13: 9780252078590

Edition: 2012

Authors: Constance Victoria Classen

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  From the softest caress to the harshest blow, touch lies at the heart of our experience of the world. Now, for the first time, this deepest of senses is the subject of an extensive historical exploration.The Deepest Sense: A Cultural History of Touchfleshes out our understanding of the past with explorations of lived experiences of embodiment from the middle ages to modernity. This intimate and sensuous approach to history makes it possible to foreground the tactile foundations of Western culture--the ways in which feelings shaped society. Constance Classen explores a variety of tactile realms including the feel of the medieval city; the tactile appeal of relics; the social histories of pain, pleasure, and affection; the bonds of touch between humans and animals; the strenuous excitement of sports such as wrestling and jousting; and the sensuous attractions of consumer culture. She delves into a range of vital issues, from the uses--and prohibitions--of touch in social interaction to the disciplining of the body by the modern state, from the changing feel of the urban landscape to the technologization of touch in modernity. Through poignant descriptions of the healing power of a medieval king's hand or the grueling conditions of a nineteenth-century prison, we find that history, far from being a dry and lifeless subject, touches us to the quick.
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Book details

List price: $27.00
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Publication date: 5/15/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 296
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.858
Language: English

The Inside Story
A Place by The Fire
The Common Touch
A Place by the Fire
The Walled City
The Rites of Pleasure
A Touchable God
A Tactile Cosmology
Mystical Touch
Gestures of Piety
The Cult of Relics
Corpus Christi
Ordeals by Fire
Painful Times
Suffering Bodies and
Healing Hands
Blind Touch
Leprosy, the Black Death, and Dancing Mania
The Uses of Pain
The Torments of Hell
Sorrow and Compassion
a woman's touch
Male and Female Bodies
A Woman's Touch
Women's Work
Texts andTextiles
Mystical Raptures and Pain Craft
The Witch's Touch
Animal Skins
Animal Bodies
Animal Companions
Beasts, Wild Men, and Slaves
Animal Souls
Experimentation and the Campaign Against Cruelty
Tactile Arts
The Aesthetics of Touch
The Feel of Art
Crafty Ladies
Touch in the Museum
The Modern Touch
Petrarch's Vision
The Decline of SacredTouch
New Sensory Worlds
The Persistence of Touch
The Finishing Touch
Sensations of a New Age
The Drill
The School, the Prison, and the Museum
The Feel of the City
The Electric Creed
Touch at Home
The Stuff of Dreams
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