My past research investigated how sensation is hierarchically categorized in Western cultures to privilege the visual sense at the expense of other sensory modes. I worked toward a distributed understanding of sensation, and I focused particularly on the role of olfaction (our sense of smell) in public discourse pertaining to environmental conditions. My recent research engages questions regarding how olfactory rhetoric (language about our sense of smell and scent) is influenced by race, class, and gender. Through this research, we can learn how people use olfactory rhetoric to discuss cultural difference, environmental hazards, gendered activity, and living conditions.
My next research task is to test a method of text mining using topical modeling to identify how olfactory rhetoric tied to race and gender manifests in environmental injustice zones. I’m preparing grant proposals to foster this research initiative.
This website also documents my development as a scholar and teacher. The site chronicles my interests and features interdisciplinary work I have developed in other areas including visual culture, museum studies, visible rhetorics, sensory rhetorics, critical theory, ecocriticism, and American Indian studies.
I’m always interested in hearing from colleagues and past, current, or potential students. You can find me on Twitter as @lisalouphillips. Thank you for visiting.