Consider this an engaged meditation on the state of the field of sensory history. I ponder what, collectively, sensory historians are doing with their field and suggest what else they could be doing with it. This is a modest manifesto, a call to practitioners to think about how their field — now well over two decades old — needs to evolve if the real interpretive dividends of the approach are to be realized. The lecture highlights ways both to help the field flourish and avoid pitfalls which can deprive us of the dialectic necessary for robust interpretive growth.
About the speaker
Mark M. Smith, Carolina Distinguished Professor of History, University of South Carolina is the most prominent historian of the senses in the United States. He is the author of Listening to Nineteenth Century America (2001), How Race is Made: Slavery, Segregation and the Senses (2006), Sensing the Past (2007) and, most recently, The Smell of Battle, The Taste of Siege: A Sensory History of the Civil War (2014, 2017). He is also the co-author of Hurrican Katrina and the Forgotten Coast of Mississippi (2014).
This event is co-sponsored by the Centre for Sensory Studies and the Department of History.