Melanie Kiechle

Melanie Kiechle

Melanie Kiechle

Associate Professor


417 Major Williams Hall
220 Stanger St.
Blacksburg, VA 24061 




Department Membership



  • 19th Century United States
  • Environmental History
  • Urban History
  • Smells and Smelling

Professional Activities

  • Organization of American Historians
  • American Association for the History of Medicine
  • American Historical Association
  • American Society for Environmental History


  • Ph.D. Rutgers University
  • B.A. Colgate University

Research Interests

    Awards and Honors

    2014-15 American Antiquarian Society-National Endowment for the Humanities Awards Fellowship, American Antiquarian Society, March 2014

    2014 Visible Scholarship Initiative Libraries Mini-Grant, Virginia Tech College for Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, December 2013

    2014 Niles Research Grant, Virginia Tech College for Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, October 2013

    Selected Publications


    Smell Detectives: An Olfactory History of Nineteenth-Century Urban America. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2017.


    Navigating by Nose: Fresh Air, Stench Nuisance and the Urban Environment, 1840- 1880,” Journal of Urban History, forthcoming.

    “The Smell Detectives,” Chemical Heritage 29:2 (Summer 2011): 32-36.

    Additional Information

    Current Research: Melanie Kiechle is interested in environmental and bodily knowledge in periods of change. Her current project, a book manuscript titled Smell Detectives: An Olfactory History of Urban America, 1840-1900, explores how Americans used their sense of smell to understood and react to industrial growth and urban concentration between the rise of the public health movement and the Progressive Era.