About a year ago I wrote a blog post about British colonizers’ sense of smell in Burma. I suggested that what they thought smelt bad revealed their prejudices about Burmese society. In addition, I wrote that they believed their nasal experience of Empire led them to have more refined sensibilities than their compatriots back home….
Tag: Sensory History
Smells Like Empire
Historians who have studied the senses have written about the racist claims, often made in colonial and slave societies, that people of colour smelt unpleasant. I have certainly come across such statements in the writings of some British imperialists regarding the Burmese. In addition to being a way of distancing themselves from colonised populations, describing…