Embodiment, Experience, Exploration: A Polysensual Approach to Historicity

Annual Public History Lecture: Dr. Joy Sather-Wagstaff

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011, 6:15 p.m.
York Amphitheatre (EV-1-605)

Drawing upon her work in Heritage That Hurts: Tourists in the Memoryscapes of September 11 (2011, Left Coast Press), Dr. Joy Sather-Wagstaff discusses the value of a multisensory approach to understanding how the public makes history meaningful as a part of crafting individual and community historical consciousness. In challenging notions that “authentic” historical knowledge and consciousness is strictly cognitive, she proposes that we take seriously the senses – vision, hearing, touch, physical actions, smell, even taste, as well as emotional states of being, as critical components in the ways that we, as humans, negotiate and construct our knowledge of history.

Dr. Joy Sather-Wagstaff is an assistant professor of anthropology at North Dakota State University in Fargo ND, US. She received her Ph.D. in sociocultural anthropology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2007. Since 2001, her research has focused on the anthropology of tourism, memory, and tragedy, concentrating specifically on commemorative landscapes and institutions/exhibitions memorializing and historicizing violent events of scale. Dr. Sather-Wagstaff’s comparative ethnographic research includes ten years of work on and at 9/11 memorial sites and exhibits in New York City, Washington, DC, and other US/international sites, the Oklahoma City National Memorial, Museum, and archives, and work at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

See Dr. Sather-Wagstaff’s faculty profile here.

Center for Ethnographic Research and Exhibition in the Aftermath of Violence