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Talk: The Smell of Risk: Olfactory Aesthetics and Atmospheric Disparities (2019/12/10)

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Poster:Betty TengPost date:2019-11-19

 

Title: The Smell of Risk: Olfactory Aesthetics and Atmospheric Disparities

 

Speaker: Prof. Hsuan L. Hsu (Professor of English, UC Davis)

 

Chair: Dr Li-hsin Hsu (English, NCCU)

 

Time: 9 am -- 12 noon, December 10, 2019

 

Venue: Rm 250203 Research Building, NCCU

 

Title: The Smell of Risk: Olfactory Aesthetics and Atmospheric Disparities

 

Abstract: This talk argues that the sense of smell--which has been marginalized by philosophers and aestheticians since the Enlightenment because it is subjective, immersive, embodied, involuntary, and difficult to verbalize--offers a powerful tool for staging and thinking about atmospheric risks. Because scents enter and transform us in the process of being perceived, they convey problems of toxicity in visceral, nonrepresentational terms. The first part of this talk will revisit Immanuel Kant's writings on smell, drawing on his discussions of chemical immediacy to theorize olfactory perception in relation to the modernity's increasingly differentiated atmospheres; the second part will consider how authors, artists, and activists have deployed olfaction to critique--and produce alternatives to--racial capitalism's patterns of atmospheric differentiation.

 

Bio: Hsuan Hsu is a Professor of English at the University of California, Davis (where he is currently on leave) and at Concordia University. He is the author of two books: Geography and the Production of Space in Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Sitting in Darkness: Mark Twain's Asia and Comparative Racialization and the editor of Broadview editions of Mark Twain's Pudd'nhead Wilson and Sui Sin Far's Mrs. Spring Fragrance. He is finishing a book titled The Smell of Risk: Olfactory Aesthetics and Atmospheric Disparities (forthcoming, NYU Press)

Last modification time:2019-11-19 AM 11:16

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