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The Senses in the Premodern World

A masterclass at The University of Western Australia led by Kirk Essary and Richard Read, and featuring Lisa Beaven.


Presenter: Lisa Beaven
Date: Friday 12 October 2018
Time: 9am–12noon
Venue: Institute of Advanced Studies, Old Irwin Street Building, Carpark No. 15 Fairway (Entrance No. 3, Fairway), The University of Western Australia Crawley campus
Registration: Register online by 8 October: http://www.ias.uwa.edu.au/masterclass/beaven

Register here


This half-day student masterclass will focus on approaches to skin and the senses in the medieval and early modern period.

The masterclass is open to high-performing undergraduate students in addition to honours, postgraduate and early career scholars.

Kirk Essary is a Lecturer in Medieval and Early Modern History at UWA and was a Postdoctoral Research Fellows with the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (CHE) from 2015 to 2018. His research focuses on religious and intellectual history in late medieval and early modern Europe, with a special interest in Christian humanism, reception history (of classical and biblical texts), the Protestant Reformation, and the history of emotions.

Richard Read is Emeritus Professor in Art History and a Senior Honorary Research Fellow at The University of Western Australia, and a full-term Associate Investigator with CHE. He has published in major journals on the relationship between literature and the visual arts, nineteenth and twentieth-century European and Australian art history, contemporary film, popular culture and complex images in global contexts.

Lisa Beaven is Lecturer in Art History at La Trobe University. She has previously taught at the Universities of Melbourne and Auckland. She was the 2008 Trendall Fellow at the British School at Rome and from 2014–2018 was a postdoctoral research fellow in the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions at The University of Melbourne. Dr Beaven’s research interests are focused on seventeenth-century Rome, with a particular interest in patronage and collecting. She is also interested in the issue of false relics, the relationship between the church and antiquarian circles in Rome, and emotional responses to paintings and sculpture in the early modern period. She has ongoing research projects on landscape painting and the ecology of the Roman Campagna, the market for relics in seventeenth-century Rome, and space and the senses in the baroque city. With Joan Barclay Lloyd, she has studied travel and the built environment of Rome; with Angela Hesson she studied love objects for the exhibition ‘Love: Art of Emotion 1400–1800’ (2017); and with Angela Ndalianis, she undertook the ARC Discovery project: ‘Experiencing Space: Sensory Encounters from Baroque Rome to Neo-Baroque Las Vegas’. In 2010, she published An Ardent Patron: Cardinal Camillo Massimo and his Artistic and Antiquarian Circles in Rome (Paul Holberton Publishing, 2010). Her collection, Emotion and the Seduction of the Senses, Baroque to Neo-Baroque (edited with Angela Ndalianis) was published by Medieval Institute Press in 2018.

Associated events sponsored by IAS UWA/PMRG/CMEMS/CHE

Presented by The University of Western Australia's Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS), Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (CMEMS) and the Perth Medieval and Renaissance Group (PMRG), with support from the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (CHE).

Image: José de Ribera, The Sense of Touch, 1632 (detail), Oil on Canvas. Museo del Prado.