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Talk Series: Experience in all its senses

Event Dates:
08 June 2023
Valentina Bulo
Pablo Chiuminatto
Marisol García Correa
Daniel Rojas Líbano
Fernando Pérez Villalón

Over the last few decades, the body has slowly reappeared on the scene. In the arts, philosophy, literature and history, to name but a few disciplines, the question of its materiality, its interactions and modes of existence has become increasingly important, leading to examples as diverse as Alain Corbin’s History of the Body, the thought of listening developed by Peter Szendy or the group exhibition Materia Humana at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Chile.

The “Experience in all its senses” Talk Series aims to explore the place that senses have in corporeality, not only as receptors that provide us with information about the external world, but also as that which allows contact and the very transformation of bodies: what is listening, tasting, smelling, seeing, touching today, what role do the senses have in our way of perceiving the world and its changes, how can we rethink the senses in the light of the new experiences to which bodies have opened up? These are some of the questions we will address.


Duration: Four sessions from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., on June 8, 15, 30 and 6 and 13 July.
Venue: Zoom platform, Facebook Live of the Centro para las Humanidades and Youtube Live UDP
Contact: [email protected]
Free workshop (in Spanish)

Contents per session:

1. Touch – 8 June
We will attempt a general approach to some of the contemporary conceptions and problematics of touch and how they have gained preponderance over the classic hierarchies of the senses in which touch is precisely the least important of the senses. The problem of the limit with others, the borders, make us think of the skin in a broader way than that of an individual human body and at the same time in the irreducible singularity of touch. Authors such as Franz Fanon, Merleau Ponty, Xavier Zubiri and Jean Luc Nancy, Geneviève Fraisse and Catherine Malabou will be discussed.

Presented by Valentina Bulo. PhD in Philosophy from the Complutense University of Madrid and professor at the Institute of Advanced Studies at the University of Santiago. Her lines of research revolve around the body, materiality and affectivity. She has directed several research projects such as “Materiality of the body and difference in the ontology of Jean-Luc Nancy” and “Political Ontology of Pleasure”. He has published the books Tonos de realidad: pensar el sentimiento en Xavier Zubiri (RIL, 2013), El temblor del ser: cuerpo y afectividad en el pensamiento tardío de Martin Heidegger (Biblos, 2012), Sobre el placer (Síntesis, 2019), Materialidad y afectividad de los cuerpos (Editorial Usach, 2022), as well as corresponding articles.

2. Taste – 15 June
While for Western society a large part of life processes are thought to be based on the idea of the person as an individual figure, many of the central elements of culture lose their value precisely because they come from a long tradition based on the collective. Taste as a notion is one of these principles of the human that already seem anachronistic, perhaps precisely because it testifies to how little individual we are and how much we depend on being in relation to others, near or far. Knowing that we like something while others find it unpleasant is one of the bases, not only of individuation, of character, but also of the conventions that allow association within human communities. Similar and different at the same time, despite belonging to the same species. Parallel to and influenced by this human model of individuation, both the simplest choice and the great daily decisions are identified with reason, but, at the same time, with that diffuse dimension identified with will, and at other times with desire. These areas depend to a large extent on conscious processes but, on the other hand, they have sensitive elements, that is to say, aesthetic, and therefore radically defined by the five senses.

Presented by Pablo Chiuminatto. Associate professor at the Faculty of Arts, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, where he teaches comparative literature and literary theory. He holds a PhD in Philosophy with a major in Aesthetics and Art Theory and a Masters in Visual Arts from the University of Chile. Member of the Environmental Humanities Research Network. Creator of the podcast Libros&Libros. Author and editor of a dozen books, among the most recent, together with Ignacio Veraguas, Gusto, sabor y saber (2022) and with Andrea Casals, Futuro esplendor: ecocrítica desde Chile (2019).

3. Hearing – 29 June
Musical trends are changing rapidly, as are the technology and the spaces that allow us to get to know them. But, above all, listening habits are changing, completely altered just over a century ago with the invention of the phonograph, and to this day being redefined with proposals for live and remote transmissions, the circulation of song excerpts for social networks, silence as a subversive manifesto, and more.

Presented by Marisol García Correa. Journalist and independent researcher. Master in Art, Thought and Culture (IDEA-USACh). Author and editor of several books on Chilean music (the most recent is Al estilo Pánico. Música y manifiesto, 2023). Opinion Editor at CIPER. Municipal Award for Best Investigative Journalism 2013 and Pulsar Award for the Promotion of Music and Heritage 2019. Her master’s thesis (2022) was an investigation into the presence of silence in the music made in Chile.

4. Smell – 6 July
The senses are usually conceived of as structures that simply receive or capture changes occurring in a world outside the perceiver. However, the neurobiology of the senses, and especially that of smell, shows that the perception of that world is inextricably linked to our actions, to our ongoing active exploration of the world, and to our bodily state. These ideas are profoundly illustrated in the neurobiological processes associated with the sense of smell, and this talk aims both to describe them and to explore their consequences for our idea of what it is to perceive and to know.

Presented by Daniel Rojas Líbano.  Education and Biological Sciences Bachelor from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and PhD in Neurobiology from the University of Chicago, USA. He did his post-doctorate at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Chile. He is a professor at the Faculty of Psychology UDP since 2017, and is also a researcher at the Center for Studies in Human Neuroscience and Neuropsychology of the same Faculty.

5. Sight – 13 July
This presentation will follow the thread of the sense of seeing, starting with the experience of looking from a concrete body endowed with various senses and situated in a specific world, and then through a panoramic tour through theories, myths, stories, poems, films and other materials that examine the possibilities and dangers of the gaze, but also propose new ways of exercising it. We will end by examining some of the ways in which the gaze constitutes us as subjects and situates us in diverse relations with others: the self-absorbed gaze, the gaze in love, the petrifying, voyeuristic, respectful, reverent or reciprocal gaze.

Presented by Fernando Pérez Villalón. Writer, translator and university lecturer. He directs the Art Department of the Universidad Alberto Hurtado and is part of the Orquesta de poetas project.