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The Deepest Sense – A Cultural History of Touch - Illinois Scholarship Online
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The Deepest Sense: A Cultural History of Touch

Constance Classen


From the softest caress to the harshest blow, touch lies at the heart of our experience of the world. Now, for the first time, this deepest of senses is the subject of an extensive historical exploration. This book fleshes out our understanding of the past with explorations of lived experiences of embodiment from the Middle Ages to modernity. This approach to history makes it possible to foreground the tactile foundations of Western culture—the ways in which feelings shaped society. This book explores a variety of tactile realms; including the feel of the medieval city; the tactile appeal of r ... More

Keywords: touch, tactile, Western culture, pain, pleasure, affection, wrestling, jousting, social interaction, modernity

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780252034930
Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017 DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252034930.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Constance Classen, author
Concordia University