|Mar 2010 - Mar 2012|
Dr. Rachel Harkness is the Mellon Sawyer Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute from March 2010 until March 2012. In this time she will be working on the Sawyer Seminar Series currently entitled 'Embodied Values: Bringing the Senses Back to the Environment'. The series will consist of six interdisciplinary seminars (focusing on sight, touch, hearing, taste, smell, and the haptic, each in turn) and will culminate in a conference in the winter of 2011. Rachel will be managing and reporting on the Sawyer programme as it develops.
During the fellowship Rachel will also be writing on the related topic of experience and the built environment. She plans to draw from her doctoral work, which was an anthropological study of eco-building and -dwelling, in order to think critically about how the built environment is defined and about its relation to 'nature' and 'the environment'. This work will examine architecture through the prism of the senses, and will attend to the processual and social nature of building and dwelling in the world. Rachel is also interested in considering the role of time in sensory engagements: she is thinking about, for example, the interaction of person and environment via materials that grow and decay; structures that shelter from the changing winds; ephemeral sounds which pass in to memory or which repeatedly situate the hearer in place.
Rachel's wider interests lie in the sphere of art, architecture, politics and the environment. She holds a First Class BA Hons from Goldsmiths College, University of London and an MRes and PhD, both from the University of Aberdeen.
Click on this link for background information about the Sawyer Seminar series.