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Melanie Kiechle

Melanie Kiechle, Associate Professor

Melanie Kiechle
Melanie Kiechle, Associate Professor

Department of History
417 Major Williams Hall, 220 Stanger St.
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-7523 |

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 understand 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
  • Ph.D., Rutgers University
  • B.A., 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.

Journal Articles

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.

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