THE UNIVERSITY of EDINBURGH

DEGREE REGULATIONS & PROGRAMMES OF STUDY 2023/2024

Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Geography

Undergraduate Course: Space, place and sensory perception (GEGR10116)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryIt has long been recognised that human experience and knowledge are mediated through the senses. The senses- sight, touch, taste, hearing and smell - play a vital role in shaping the way we interact with, and attune ourselves to, the world around us. This course will focus on understanding these everyday sensory worlds and their variation across various historical and geographical contexts. In so doing, it acknowledges that sensory perception is as much a social, cultural and political practice as it is a physical or biological function. The course will begin by examining the philosophical groundings of the scholarly study of the senses within geography and related disciplines, before moving on to look at the work of contemporary theorists on a range of topics such as silence and noise, darkness and light, pleasure and disgust, immersion and distance, atmosphere and affect. Whilst the structure of the course will be largely dictated by the traditional Western classification of the five senses, ample consideration will be given to other sensory modalities such as kinesthesia (the sensation of movement) and synaesthesia (subjective sensation).
***PLEASE NOTE FIELD VISIT LOCATIONS MAY CHANGE FOR A VARIETY OF REASONS, INCLUDING SECURITY RISKS, INCREASED COSTS OR INABILITY TO ACCESS FIELD LOCATIONS. ANY CHANGES TO THE MAIN DESTINATIONS OF THE FIELD VISITS WILL BE ANNOUNCED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE***
Course description The lecture topics will include taste, touch, smell, hearing, vision, kinesthesia and synaesthesia, sensory methods, senses and the city, and environmental sensitivities. The course will be organised around lectures (with some guest speakers), student-led discussions, and tutorials, and will attempt to be as sensorially engaging as possible in its pedagogy, providing numerous opportunities for students to physically explore their senses. Experiential learning is a key component of the course and students will be invited to develop their own sensory dexterities by conducting mini-investigations on and through the senses.

Course aims:
To introduce the students to the broad range of scholarship on the senses currently circulating within geography and related disciplines.
To illustrate the ways in which our understandings of distinct sensory perceptions are historically, culturally and geographically situated.
To consider the methodological implications of geographers theorization of the senses and the challenge that new and emerging approaches present to older paradigms.
To encourage students to reflect upon their own sensory engagements and make connections between knowledge gained in class and the wider world.

This course is open to 3rd and 4th year students. This course is open to other university students however, priority will be given to students on the Geography Degree Programmes and Sustainable Development (Geography Pathway).
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Social and Cultural Geography (GEGR08004)
Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements This course is open to 3rd and 4th year students. This course is open to other university students however, priority will be given to students on the Geography Degree Programmes and Sustainable Development (Geography Pathway.
Additional Costs None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  40
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 5, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 169 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 3000 word blog post (60%) 2000 word blog post (40%).

Assessment deadlines:
3000 word blog post - six entries (part 1) due week 9
2000 word blog post - 4 entries (part 2) due end of April
Feedback Feedback will be provided orally throughout the course during lectures, tutorials, and one-to-one meetings with students, and in written form via the formative learning exercises and degree assessments. Students are welcome to ask the course organiser for verbal feedback at any point during the semester.

Students are expected to use the feedback provided to enhance their learning and improve their written submissions.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. A critical understanding of sensory perception and relevant theory.
  2. A greater awareness of the multidimensionality of the human sensorium and an ability to analyse sensory hierarchies.
  3. A critical understanding of the methodological implications of geographers┬┐ theorization of the senses and the challenge that new and emerging approaches present to older paradigms.
  4. Their capacity to reflect upon their own sensory engagements and make connections between the academic literature and the wider world.
Reading List
Bull, M. and Back, L. (2003) The Auditory Culture Reader. Berg.
Bull, M. (2013) Sound Studies. Routledge.
Classen, C., Howes, D. and Synott, A. (1994) Aroma: The Cultural History of Smell. Routledge.
Drobnick, J. (2006) The Smell Culture Reader. Berg.
Howes, D. (2005) Empire of the Senses: The Sensual Culture Reader. Oxford: Berg
Howes, D. (2009) The Sixth Sense Reader. Berg.
Howes, D. and Classen, C. (2014) Ways of Sensing: Understanding the Senses in Society. Routledge.
Paterson, M. and Dodge, M. (2012) Touching Space, Placing Touch. Ashgate.
Pink, S. (2009) Doing Sensory Ethnography. Sage.
Smith, M.M. (2021) A Sensory History Manifesto. University Park, PA: Penn State University Press
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills By the end of the course the students will have developed their:
- Ability to undertake independent and self-directed learning, including time management.
- Capacity to work effectively in a group;
- Ability to identify and acquire data from a range of academic and non-academic sources.
- Written communication and critical analysis skills, including the ability to synthesize academic and non-academic material, write for a non-specialist audience (namely their peers), and write academically rigorous essays.
- Techniques of oral presentation and conversation through discussion leading and class participation.
- Ability to form independent opinions and to respond thoughtfully to the opinions of others.
KeywordsGeography,senses,perception,everyday,environment,space,place
Contacts
Course organiserDr Nina Morris
Tel: (0131 6)51 4242
Email: N.Morris@ed.ac.uk
Course secretaryMiss Leigh Corstorphine
Tel: (01316) 502572
Email: lcorstor@ed.ac.uk
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