Pleasing Possibilities: New Perspectives on Pleasure. Part I

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 14:15-15:45
Location: Seminar 33 (Juridicum)
TG07 Senses and Society (host committee)

Language: English

The recent phenomenal growth of studies of the senses has turned analytical attention to a wide range of experiential phenomena. We now have a range of studies of the historical, cultural and social dimensions of taste, odour, vision, colour, pain, proprioception, and the variously defined “sixth sense,” to name a few. As yet, however, pleasure remains an under-explored domain in the social sciences. A range of other disciplines, from biology and neuroscience to psychology and marketing, explore the pursuit of pleasure as a motivator in human (and animal) behaviour, often, however, adopting perspectives on pleasure as uni-dimensional and delinked from specific historical, social and cultural contexts. 
This session throws open the question of how to theorize the place of pleasure in social and cultural life. We invite scholars to consider a broad range of areas in which pleasure, its pursuit and avoidance, and the ability to achieve or deny it are central facets of experience. Possible thematic areas include: 

  • aesthetics (music, poetry, etc.); 
  • entertainment (humour and comedy, reality TV, soaps, gaming); 
  • food; 
  • physical exertion (sport, dance, sports); 
  • discipline (education, dieting, body sculpting); 
  • spirituality (meditation, yoga); 
  • pain as pleasure (tattoos, piercing); 
  • rest and relaxation; 
  • fantasy and daydreaming; 
  • cognitive pleasures (problem solving, chess, crosswords and other puzzles); 
  • sex and intimacy; 
  • chemical pleasure (drugs, smoking, alcohol); 
  • sociality; 
  • anticipation and fulfilment.

The session is particularly keen to include papers that will enable a wide range of theoretical perspectives on sensations of pleasure.

Session Organizers:
Susanna TRNKA, University of Auckland, New Zealand and Sharyn DAVIES, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand
Enrico PETRILLI, University of Milano Biccoca, Italy
Pleasures of Place: Aesthetics, Sociology, and Tourism
Peter GRAHAME, Pennsylvania State University - Schuylkill, USA
Engine Noise and the Pleasurable Driving Experience
Daniel TORODE, University of South Australia, Australia
The Pleasure of Protest: Piety, Performance and Pretty Policewomen in Indonesia
Sharyn DAVIES, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand
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