CHHS workshop: Professor Mark Paterson

Professor Mark Paterson ran an afternoon workshop on ‘Haptic methodologies and multisensory mediations’ in room G.16 of Cotham House on 15/05/18.

Mark is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Pittsburgh. He has conducted funded research on the use of haptic technologies within museums, and on the mixed spaces of human-robotic interaction (HRI). He is the author of several books, including The Senses of Touch: Haptics, Affects and Technologies (2007), Seeing with the Hands: Blindness, Vision and Touch After Descartes (2016) and co-editor of Touching Place, Spacing Touch (with Martin Dodge, 2012). He is co-editor of a special issue of the journal New Media & Society on ‘Haptic Media Studies’ (2017). His current book project is How We Became Sensory- Motor: Mapping Movement and Modernity.

This workshop focussed on on the emergence of ‘multimodal analysis’ – which brings together the textual, visual, aural, embodied and spatial dimensions – and their potential value for scholars across the humanities & social sciences. It raised questions such as: what can scholars of the senses, and those engaging in the ‘multimodal turn’ in research, learn from each another? How can ‘haptic’ or relativistic ‘embodied’ methodologies make use of more distributed and accessible multimodal media? How does the archive incorporate such multisensory mediations, and what limits are there in interpretation? Is there an irresolvable tension between relativistic approaches to sensory practice and forms of research and dissemination that engage the audio-visual affordances of contemporary media? What might this all mean for the interdisciplinary endeavour that has become known as ‘sensory studies’? Finally, do the possibilities of multimodal (e.g. audio-visual) media foster more creative attitudes to data collection, and what would this look like for different humanities and social science fields?

Contact: Mark Paterson – paterson@pitt.edu

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