History of Sensation


Course Title

History of Sensation

Course Description

This class offers a deep history of sensation. It opens a window into how scientists, philosophers, medical practitioners, and neurophysiologists developed theories of touching, tasting, smelling, hearing, and seeing. Students will learn about the history of using animal models to inform human sensation, as well as the medical consequences of sensations that failed to fit neat categories of sensing. From the science of sensing, we will also explore the politics of sensation. How did different standards of scientific practice articulate the relationship between the senses, the emotions, and sensible objective judgment? Whose senses did these standards include? Whose did they ignore?

Course Level

Instructor Name

Course Topics

Disciplinary Perspectives

Geographic Location


Instructional Modality

Institutional Location



HIST 353 History of Sensation