Olfactory Art and Differential Deodorization situates the emerging medium of olfactory art by considering recent work in the fields of environmental humanities and geography that illuminates the political stakes of atmospheric engineering. In addition to providing a historical and conceptual backdrop for olfactory art, the article contextualizes olfactory art as an aesthetic engagement with modern practices of deodorization and “air conditioning.” The article describes the political and philosophical gravity of olfaction as a medium that foregrounds the necessarily risky interchanges between bodies and environments. 

Hsu’s article appears in The Smell of Risk: Enviornmental Disparities and Olfactory Aesthetics (NYU Press, 2021).

Hsuan Hsu is a professor in the English department with affiliations in Geography and Cultural Studies at UC Davis. His article exploring the intersections of deodorization, olfactory art, and environmental risk extends his past research on intersections between environmental studies, geography, race, and aesthetics. He is the author of Geography and the Production of Space in Nineteenth-Century American Literature (Cambridge, 2010) and Sitting in Darkness: Mark Twain, Asia, and Comparative Racialization (NYU, 2015).