Medieval memorials: Sights and sounds embodied; feelings, fragrances and flavors re-membered

Corine Schleif

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Medieval Christians wishing to furnish themselves with eternal memorials had many options at their disposal. They sought to be remembered by individuals and institutions - already during life but especially after death - through occasioning embodied sensations that were perpetuated through donations and endowments. Ideologically they positioned themselves as gift-givers. Reminders, often but not always, channeled through visual representations were actuated in all the senses with the multisensory functioning through synesthetic conduits and in superadditive ways. Donors usurped the time and attention of the needy as well as of those who had claimed to follow lives of relative deprivation and austerity, especially (female) monastics, through complexly orchestrated social and economic interdependencies that included negotiations of accommodation and challenge to sensory hierarchies. Social controls regulating permanent visual display could be circumvented through the use of non-visual and performance media.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-92
Number of pages20
JournalSenses and Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Donors
  • Images
  • Memorials
  • Multisensory
  • Reciprocity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication


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