Sensing the Past: Seeing, Hearing, Smelling, Tasting, and Touching in History / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $28.31
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 5%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (3) from $28.31   
  • New (1) from $28.31   
  • Used (2) from $59.99   


Do we rely on different senses now than the ones we relied on in the past? How have our senses affected history? How have the senses themselves changed? What role have the senses played in the ways we discriminate? Exploring illuminating examples from antiquity to the twenty-first century, this lively, concise introduction to the essential, emerging field of sensory history presents a new way of looking at the past that takes the everyday, the average, and the banal as seriously as it takes the history of elites, the intellect, and the exceptional. Considering each of the five senses, Mark M. Smith explores diverse subjects: visual culture in Victorian Britain and South America, sound in nineteenth-century Australia and France, gender politics and touch in early modern Europe and in native America, "race" and olfaction in the United States and scent in ancient Christianity, and the role of taste in shaping national identity in modern China and early America.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Science (AAAS) - Andreas Keller
“An informative and entertaining introduction to the underappreciated field of sensory history.”
Isis - Charles E. McClelland
“Will remind readers why the history of the senses remains one of the most exciting avenues of historical research.”
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520254961
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 2/4/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 1,555,298
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark M. Smith, Carolina Distinguished Professor of History at the University of South Carolina, is the author of several books including How Race is Made: Slavery, Segregation, and the Senses and Mastered by the Clock: Time, Slavery, and Freedom in the American South, co-winner of the Organization of American Historians' Avery O. Craven Award and the South Carolina Historical Society's Book of the Year.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)