With groundbreaking contributions by Marshall McLuhan, Oliver Sacks, Italo Calvino and Alain Corbin, among others, Empire of the Senses overturns linguistic and textual models of interpretation and places sensory experience at the forefront of cultural analysis. The senses are gateways of knowledge, instruments of power, sources of pleasure and pain - and they are subject to dramatically different constructions in different societies and periods. Empire of the Senses charts the new terrains opened up by the sensual revolution in scholarship, as it takes the reader into the sensory worlds of the medieval witch and the postmodern mall, a Japanese tea ceremony and a Boston shelter for the homeless. This compelling revisioning of history and cultural studies sparkles with wit and insight and is destined to become a landmark in the field.
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