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Author Classen, Constance, 1957-

Title The deepest sense : a cultural history of touch / Constance Classen.

Publication Info. Urbana : University of Illinois Press, [2012]


Location Pub Note Copy No. Status
 Rock Island Main Lib Adult Non-Fiction - RIPG-6  612.88 CLA    AVAILABLE
Description xvii, 227 pages, 6 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 23 cm.
text txt rdacontent
unmediated n rdamedia
volume nc rdacarrier
Series Studies in sensory history
Studies in sensory history.
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (p. [199]-220) and index.
Contents A place by the fire. The common touch -- A place by the fire -- The walled city -- Hard at work -- 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 the dancing mania -- The uses of pain -- The torments of hell -- Sorrow and compassion -- A woman's touch. Male and female bodies -- A women's touch -- Women's work -- Texts and textiles -- 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 sacred touch -- 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.
Summary 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 Touch fleshes 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."--Publisher's website.
Subject Touch -- History.
Senses and sensation -- History.
Social history.
Standard No. 7269628
ISBN 9780252034930 (alkaline paper)
0252034937 (alkaline paper)
9780252078590 (paperback) (alkaline paper)
0252078594 (paperback) (alkaline paper)

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