objects of the sensorium

Christopher Cannon

“Maiden in the Mor Lay”: An anonymous Middle English lyric and four essays trying to provide a context in different kinds of feeling or forms of enactment. 

Joel Childers

An excerpt from photographer Lena Herzog’s audiovisual installation, Last Whispers (British Museum, 2013)—an “oratorio” to the extinction of spoken languages. Click the link and watch the “conversation” excerpt.


From Caroline Bergvall’s Drift (2014): an account of being lost or adrift at sea and a meditation on the medieval form on contemporary concerns, with illustrations and an audio recording from a 2015 installation.

Illustrations from Drift, via Bergvall’s website: http://carolinebergvall.com/work/drift-drawings/

Gabrielle Dean

EDR 469: a bound volume of miscellaneous sheet music, without title page / with Emily Dickinson’s name written on the flyleaf. Dickinson Family Library copy. EDR 469. Houghton Library, Harvard University. Cambridge, Mass.

Mary Favret

“Lord Byron Died” (2000-2010): A series of photographs taken at the ruins of the Temple of Poseiden at Sounion by the contemporary artist Tacita Dean. The title refers obliquely to the fact that Byron inscribed his name on the temple in the 1810s, but Dean doesn’t photograph his name. I’m interested in the mix of media here—photography and epigraphy, sight and touch—and the play of two and three dimensions (not to mention light and shade and time). Here and elsewhere Dean’s work asks us to rethink what reading or legibility is. 

Sarah Ross

A photograph by Walker Evans for his co-authored, multi-media piece Let us Now Praise Famous Men. His photographs are breathtaking, but when I took an art history course on Evans’s and Agee’s work, we discussed at length the ways in which Evans in particular captured how bodies and circumstances impressed themselves into the material world—like the well-worn clothing on Bud Field in the photo below (1936). I’d be happy to talk more about it, and how the gaze is an obvious visual form of reaching for the reader (optically and ontologically constituting a Self and an Other looking reflexively at one another). 

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