Workshop "Everyday Emotional and Sensory Materialities", 8th-9th September 2022

Objects and spaces produce, carry and transmit emotional associations. Some objects and buildings, such as a nation’s flag or a church, are deliberately made to promote or express emotion. More mundane objects and spaces also, through their use, sight, smell or touch, or through later reminiscences, acquire an emotional meaning.

Entanglements with everyday objects and spaces involve sensory and embodied aspects that we often are not aware of and incapable of reflecting until much later when they become objects of memory. The sensory and embodied memories related to the materiality of childhood environments and play, or youth, for example, are often seen as seemingly random and mundane, but connect to and can reinforce affective bonds between people, as well between people and place. In addition to temporary distance, spatial disconnections such as displacement and mobility may transform and strengthen the meaning of everyday objects and materiality. 

The workshop “Everyday emotional and sensory materialities” explores people’s emotional and sensory encounters with materialities as part of their everyday practices from the early twentieth century until the present, and how everyday objects and spaces have become emotionally meaningful for individuals and groups. We are interested in historically changing and situated emotions, affective and material practices, as well as how these practices and encounters are reminisced from today’s perspective. The papers of the workshop may touch upon e.g.: welfare state materialities; everyday emotional, material and spatial practices; childhood, parenthood and materiality, mobility and spatial (dis)connections, or technologies and architectures of everyday life.


Everyday Emotional and Sensory Materialities -workshop is organized 8-9 September 2022 in Tampere.

The workshop is organized in cooperation with HEX, the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence in the History of Experiences, and by three research projects:

Baby Box as an Emotional Object: the Sociomaterial Experiences of the Finnish Welfare State from the 1930s to the Present

Material and Sensory Memories: Explorations on Autobiographical Materiality (SENSOMEMO),

Rural Generations on the Move. Cultural History of Rural Youth, 1950–2020 (ROOTS),