Sharpening your senses elective, from 7 February to 18 April

Do you need some extra credits and want to do something different?

A collaboration between FASoS, the Medical Faculty, Marres and the SkillsLab, the Shaping your senses elective helps you train your senses and explore and better understand embodied knowledge.

It runs from 7 February to 18 April 2023 on Tuesday mornings, and will alternate between class experiments, fun fieldwork and independent work.

Want to know more? Please contact Emilie Sitzia.

What do doctors and art specialists have in common? They are expert observers. Their work involves attuning and developing their skills of observation, sharpening their senses. This interdisciplinary elective attends to this core skill, across the medical and arts professions – a skill that is central to these fields and yet which often gets taken for granted and not given specific attention.

How have the senses been perceived historically in society? How do they impact on current socio-cultural codes and professional practices? How are senses thought of differently across domains? What does it do to bring these domains together, and examine the intersections and cross-overs at the borders? How can students improve their sensory abilities of noticing and apply it in their future practice?

This cross-Faculty elective, a collaboration between the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, the Skillslab (Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life sciences) and Marres House for Contemporary Culture, is designed to address precisely these questions, by bringing medical students, and arts students together.

In this course students will discover the theories behind ‘senses-based learning’, the socio-historical context that drives our current use of the senses in various professional fields, as well as practice and train their sensory skills. For that, students are encouraged to step out into conscious observation and use different kinds of senses from different perspectives. Students will learn from each other, as well as the tutors and invited experts they listen to and observe.

This elective aims to help students engage critically with how to train their senses to experience/ perceive more fully and collect information relevant to their fields, with how to describe and communicate this information, and how to analyse it using various disciplinary protocols.

This elective is part of a broader project on developing Senses-based Learning at the university. If you want to know more about the project visit

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