Sensing the Unseen | A Year of Exploration




This exciting yearlong seminar—the John E. Sawyer Seminar on the Comparative Study of Cultures—explores how social sciences and humanities scholars study the unseen.

Joining the more familiar attention to material culture with an innovative focus on immaterial culture, presenters pose such questions as: How should we describe the similarities and differences between that which is invisible and that which is as yet unvisualized, that which is unrepresented and that which may be unrepresentable.

The seminar is organized around six species of the unseen: The Elusive, The Unaccounted, The Occult, The Invisible, The Evanescent, and The Obscure. Four areas are keyed to sensory modes: listening, feeling, tasting, and seeing. The other two areas relate to questions of how the unseen is measured and managed, at scales from the sub-visible to the geopolitical.

Sensing the Unseen website