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David Howes

David Howes is Professor of Anthropology at Concordia University, Montreal, and the Director of the Concordia Sensoria Research Team (CONSERT). He holds three degrees in anthropology and two degrees in law. His main fields of research include sensory anthropology, culture and consumption, constitutional studies, and the anthropology of law. Howes has conducted field research on the cultural life of the senses in the Middle Sepik River region of Papua New Guinea, Northwestern Argentina, and the Southwestern United States. He recently concluded an anthropological study of the sensory life of things in the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, and has just embarked on a new media art project in collaboration with colleague Christopher Salter, called “Mediations of Sensation.” Howes’ research in law has focussed on the elaboration of a methodology for resolving cases that are sparked by the increasing mixing and friction of cultures brought on by transnational migration. In place of using culture as a defense, he advocates the development of a cross-cultural jurisprudence. He has also conducted an excavation of the cultural underpinnings of the Canadian and U.S. constitutions ( Howes is the editor of The Varieties of Sensory Experience (1991), Cross-Cultural Consumption (1996), and Empire of the Senses (2004); the co-author with Constance Classen and Anthony Synnott of Aroma: The Cultural History of Smell (1994); and, the author of Sensual Relations: Engaging the Senses in Culture and Social Theory (2003). His latest book is The Sixth Sense Reader (2009). He is the Managing Editor of The Senses and Society journal, and a co-convenor of the Sensory Studies website ( See further

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