POSTPONED: Scent Heritage and Sensory Mining: How to Develop an Olfactory Gaze for (Digital) Heritage Collections

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Scent Heritage and Sensory Mining: How to Develop an Olfactory Gaze for (Digital) Heritage Collections

Digital Humanities and Sensory Heritage (DHSH) - Seminar Series

This event has postponed until further notice due to industrial action


Speaker: Inger Leemans (Amsterdam)


How can we capture, document, represent and promote sensory heritage? In the last decades, the interest for the heritage and history of the ‘lower senses’ has been expanding. The Odeuropa project – a transdisciplinary EU research and innovation action has taken up the challenge to show that critically engaging our sense of smell and our scent heritage is an important and a viable means for connecting and promoting Europe’s tangible and intangible cultural heritage. Odeuropa is developing AI techniques to capture scent references in cultural heritage text and image datasets, spanning four centuries of European history. In this lecture Odeuropa project lead Inger Leemans will show how the project develops transdisciplinary methodologies to identify and trace how ‘smell’ was expressed in different languages, with what places and practices it was associated, and to what emotions and sensitivities it was linked. The lecture will furthermore show how this multi-modal information is curated, employing advanced Knowledge Engineering techniques, then drawn on to create new ‘storylines’ informed by cultural history research, and lastly, how the captures heritage scents are represented to 21st-century noses.



inger leemans

Inger Leemans is Professor of Cultural History at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and Director of the Meertens Institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is a member of national and European boards for Cultural Heritage, and a pioneer in the field of Digital Humanities. Her research in early modern cultural history stretches out in various directions – from the history of emotions, the senses, knowledge, and sexuality to studies in cultural economy. Her work focuses on questions about how culture is embodied, and how cultures, emotions and markets intertwine. As the Project Lead of the EU Horizon 2020 project ODEUROPA: Negotiating Olfactory and Sensory Experiences in Cultural Heritage Practice and Research Inger Leemans is invested in developing transdisciplinary approaches to olfactory heritage and sensory mining.



Find out more about the Digital Humanities and Sensory Heritage Network here.