About the Conference

Sensation – Perception – Mediation

University of Szeged (Hungary), June 7-9, 2012
Szeged Building of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
6720 Szeged, Somogyi u. 7.

The Visual Culture and Literary Theory Department is organizing an international conference entitled Sensation – Perception - Mediation in order to contribute to recent discussions in the humanities regarding the role of sensation and perception in arts and media, the ways human sensation and perception are interpreted through aesthetic means, and the mediated character of these experiences, in general. Papers are invited in the related fields of cinema and media studies, visual culture, and literature.

Every statement about the world necessarily involves preconceptions on the human sensorium. One of the most debated questions in recent theories of perception is the relation between perception and cognition. Theories having their starting point in the partiality of the senses and perception tend to underline the corrective function of the mind (cognitive approaches). Others view perception as pertaining to a sensory being which precedes self-consciousness and ignores the boundaries between inside and outside (phenomenological approaches). Postructuralist discourses emphasize the hallucinatory character of perception: as a form of presence, perception is a derived category which is always already preceded and displaced by writing (Derrida), inscription (de Man) or the name of the father (Lacan). Recent critiques of ideology rely on mediality studies to uncover the social and cultural determinations of perception. In media studies sensation and perception are not a category to be deconstructed, but their mediated character is to be underscored. According to Kittler technical media build on overwhelming our senses and mark out the conditions of sensory experience. In Pfeiffer’s view media configurations make possible a sensory experiencing of immediacy and vitality.

Proposals are invited for analyses of related issues or individual texts. We would like to rely on the broadest theoretical, interdisciplinary and critical perspectives, while keeping the scope of the conference within the framework of the humanities.

Topics may include, but are not limited to the following themes:

  • Perception and the subject; the body (abjection, body genres, the exhibition of the body, performance, performativity, theatricality, punctum, movement-image [Deleuze])
  • Perception and technical media (new media, interaction, saturation, simulation, immersion, remediation, virtuality)
  • Relation between the senses (synaesthesia, cinesthetic subject [Sobchack], intersensoriality, transsensoriality, the acousmatic voice [Chion], phantom/phenomenon [Merleau-Ponty])
  • Perception and narration (narrative voice, focalization, sequentiality/simultaneity)
  • Early film theory (medium specificity, classical cinema and modern aesthetic theories, sensory experience and mass production, the organization of sensory experience through cinema)

Confirmed keynote speaker:

Prof. Mary Ann Doane,

a renowned scholar of film theory, feminist theory, and semiotics, the Class of 1937 Professor of Film and Media at the University of California Berkeley. She is the author of The Desire to Desire: The Woman’s Film of the 1940s (Indiana University Press, 1987), Femmes Fatales: Feminism, Film Theory, Psychoanalysis (Routledge, 1991), and The Emergence of Cinematic Time: Modernity, Contingency, the Archive (Harvard University Press, 2002). Doane served as co-editor of Re-Vision: Essays in Feminist Film Criticism (1984) and of Camera Obscura, no. 20-21: “The Spectatrix” (1989), and as editor of differences, no. 18, Special Issue: “Indexicality: Trace and Sign” (2007).

The language of the conference is English.

For further information send a message to Izabella Füzi or to

Organizing committee:

Izabella Füzi PhD
Chair, Associate Professor

Ervin Török PhD
Senior Assistant Professor

Miklós Sághy PhD
Senior Assistant Professor

Zoltán János Tóth
Assistant research fellow

Orsolya Milián PhD
Research fellow

Vera Kérchy
Assistant research fellow

PhD-student Assistants:

Diána Dóra Gollowitzer

Linda Huszár

Department of Visual Culture and Literary Theory
University of Szeged, Faculty of Arts
H-6722 Szeged, Egyetem u. 2. (Hungary)
Phone: +36-62-544827