Knowing by Sensing: How to Teach the History of Smell


Knowing by Sensing: How to Teach the History of Smell is an online module co-curated by the Odeuropa project and the American Historical Review

The module offers a set of seven short video presentations that explain how we approach teaching the history of smell, and the ways in which it can enrich student learning about political, social and cultural history. The videos provide teachers with easy and practical step-by-step guides for getting historical scents into the classroom and organizing smell walks that allow students “to sniff their way through history”!

Sensory history is a fast-expanding field, attracting more and more researchers and teachers interested in the social life of the senses. Olfactory history—researching and teaching about smell and the past—is somewhat of a newcomer, but it offers many opportunities to innovate your classroom in ways that encourage students to understand more familiar and less studied historical issues in novel ways.

Knowing by Sensing is a “nose-on” module which offers a space where teachers and students learn by doing. This means that instead of providing written instructions on how to teach with smell, we will invite participants to walk with us, step by step, through different educational technologies around smell.

The module is hosted on the website of the American Historical Review.


If you have engaged with the module, we would greatly appreciate your feedback.Please fill out this short survey, so we can understand your appreciation and learn from your suggestions for future development.