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Laura Nissin


Current position: University of Tampere, Finland

During her AIAS-COFUND fellowship Laura Nissin worked on the project 'Making sense(s) of Roman neighbourhoods'

Project description

This post-doctoral study investigates the experiences of coexistence in urban quarters of ancient Roman towns by finding out how the inhabitants sensed their immediate neighborhoods. The research questions of the study are what kind of sounds, smells, and sights surrounded urban dwellers, what kind of tasting and touching experiences they encountered, how these sensations were perceived and dealt with and how they influenced the constructions of spaces. I use a multisensory approach, but the work focuses on sensory nuisances i.e. the irritating smells and sounds, unwanted touches, the role of darkness in the use of space, and the disparity of diets. The sensations, often considered as solely physiological phenomena, are in fact deeply influenced by culture. One key element of this study is hence to find out what were the Roman cultural concepts associated with senses. Without understanding the sensory landscape of ancient societies, our knowledge of the past remains inevitably limited. My work, which uses both Latin literature and archaeological material from recent excavations, will thus be a timely contribution to the scholarship of urban and domestic space in ancient Rome.

Project title: Making sense(s) of Roman neighbourhoods

Area of research: Ancient history, Classical Archaeology, Classical philology

Fellowship period: 1 Feb 2022 - 31 Jan 2024

Fellowship type: AIAS-COFUND II Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow

This fellowship has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 754513 and The Aarhus University Research Foundation.