Department of History
220 Stanger Street
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-7523 | email@example.com
Melanie Kiechle is an associate professor of history at Virginia Tech. She is interested in environmental and bodily knowledge in periods of change. Her book, 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.
- 19th Century United States
- Environmental History
- Urban History
- Smells and Smelling
- PhD, Rutgers University
- BA, Colgate University
- Member, Organization of American Historians
- Member, American Association for the History of Medicine
- Member, American Historical Association
- Member, American Society for Environmental History
- 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
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.
Select Media Mentions
Article ItemRevisiting a 19th century medical idea could help address COVID-19 , article
Washington Post, 4/21/2021
Article ItemFighting Disease with Smell: “Disinfection” during the Civil War , article
National Museum of Civil War Medicine, 10/01/2019
General ItemJon Batiste, Gail Simmons, and Strange Smells
Tell Me Something I Don’t Know, 10/31/2017
General ItemWhat the Nose Knows
The American Scholar, 07/28/2017
General ItemPodcast: Q&A with Melanie Kiechle, author of Smell Detectives
Science Magazine, 07/26/2017
Recent Academic News