The Smell of Risk: Environmental Disparities and Olfactory Aesthetics


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A timely exploration of how odor seeps into structural inequality Our sense of smell is a uniquely visceral-and personal-form of experience. As Hsuan L. Hsu points out, smell has long been spurned by Western aesthetics as a lesser sense for its qualities of subjectivity, volatility, and materiality. But it is these very qualities that make olfaction a vital tool for sensing and staging environmental risk and inequality. Unlike the other senses, smell extends across space and reaches into our bodies. Hsu traces how writers, ...

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