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Philosophy for Multisensory Communication and Media

Keith Kenney

Multisensory media – hybrid media that engage more than the auditory and visual senses – is beginning to change the way that we communicate. While hardware and software for capturing and emitting different types of sensory data are still being developed, this book lays a theoretical foundation for their use. Drawing upon the ideas of philosophers who write about sensory perception as well as each of the senses, Keith Kenney explains the issues that communication and media scholars will need to investigate as we begin to exchange haptic, olfactory, and even gustatory messages.

Scholars interested in communication theory, media theory, and multimodality will discover new ideas by current philosophers, while scholars of sensory studies will learn how their field can be extended to communication and media. Designers of multisensory experiences, such as videogame developers, will find practical suggestions for creating richer and more meaningful experiences. A dozen sidebars apply philosophical ideas to common experiences so that the text can be used in advanced undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

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Acknowledgments

Extract

Several people have contributed to my thinking about multisensory media theory, but I want to particularly thank three individuals who have greatly helped me to write this book. Tara Mortensen, a faculty member in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of South Carolina (USC), was my prima- ry reader concerning the what of the book’s contents. She is a colleague in the Visual Communication sequence at the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. Even though my initial drafts were unclear—due to un- clear thinking as well as writing—Tara persevered and offered invaluable comments. All authors need someone to read early stages of their manuscripts and challenge ideas, note gaps, and, if deserved, offer encouragement. Tara Mortensen’s research focuses on amateur visual media and visual framing in the era of citizen photojournalism. Jane O’Boyle not only offered lots of encouragement, when it was most needed, but she also was my primary reader concerning the how of the book’s writing. She is a doctoral student in USC’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications whose research focuses on digital media and international communications. More importantly, for me, she is a former publishing exec- utive at Random House and also author or editor of more than 30 books. If viii philosophy for multisensory communication and media you find this book flows well and is relatively easy to understand, then much of the credit goes to Jane. Augie Grant, a professor and endowed chair in the same school, agreed...

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