The Memory Network maps smell and memory for the Being Human Festival 2018
  • 10/30/2018
  • |
  • News
  • |

The Memory Network maps smell and memory for the Being Human Festival 2018

The Memory Network is continuing its research into the Proust Phenomenon. In partnership with Black Country Living Museum, Wolverhampton Art Gallery and The University of Wolverhampton, The Memory Network  has secured funding to undertake pioneering research that explores past and present smells of the Black Country. Two community research events – entitled ‘Snidge Scrumpin’ – are being held at Black Country Living Museum (Wednesday 21st November) and Wolverhampton Art Gallery (Thursday 22nd November) as part of the Being Human Festival, the only national festival of the humanities in the UK.
 

Sebastian Groes, Professor of English Literature at the University of Wolverhampton, said: “Smell is unique because it has the ability to take us right back to our childhood. Snidge Scrumpin’ maps the specific smells that belong to the Black Country, from Banks’s Brewery’s hoppy stink to groaty pudding and spicy curry.

“Our community events will build on research into the so-called ‘Proust Phenomenon’, which suggests that odours can trigger childhood memories.  We will be conducting an interactive psychological experiment that collects Black Country smells and tastes that trigger different memories. People attending the events will be exposed to these and they will be asked to retrieve and describe memories, and then rate their intensity and emotionality.

“It is hoped that the Snidge Scrumpin’ research will demonstrate the importance of the smell and taste for our sense of regional history, and shows how place shapes us. The project will draw up the lost odours belonging to this post-industrial region whilst charting a new 21st-century palate.”

Written by Nick