Past: Researching and representing the senses historically

The importance of historical thinking and methodology for understanding the role of the senses came increasingly to the fore over the course of the Sensory Cities Network. This is the case not only because many of the sensory features of a city are historically determined, or because the sensorial experience of history matters to inhabitants and visitors, but because history can offers crucial insights for understanding the culturally constructed and time-bound nature of sensory perception and interpretation. Understanding the present sensorium is really impossible without a deeper understanding of its past. It is therefore necessary to integrate a historical understanding of place not only for the sake of understanding the past but for giving a long-term perspective to current debates and future developments, and there is no better place to convey that sense of history than in the city museum.

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