This special issue focuses on the position of taste and smell in the long eighteenth century, during which both theoretical discourse and daily routine were strongly influenced by sensualist ideas. Although in the prevalent hierarchy of the senses taste and smell were generally regarded as the lower, inferior senses, the eighteenth century marked a growing interest in the many debates on taste and smell, in the aesthetic but also in the scientific domain. The articles presented here address different ways in which smell and taste were represented, discussed, or put to use in a great range of sources that appeared and circulated in the course of the long eighteenth century. This issue engages with a great variety of disciplines (philosophy, (art) history, literary studies, anthropology), bearing witness to the multidisciplinary and international nature of the growing field of sensory studies.
Contents: LIEKE VAN DEINSEN, Explanation of the frontispiece JORIS ODDENS, Van de redactie BEATRIJS VANACKER/LIEKE VAN DEINSEN, Taste and Smell in the (long) Eighteenth Century. Introduction VIKTORIA VON HOFFMANN, The Sense of Taste in Eighteenth-Century France. Flavours of Silence and Words of Perception MARA VAN DER LUGT, A Taste of Paradise. Early Modern Encounters with the Islamic Afterworld NICHOLAS B. MILLER, The Perils of Progress and Gustatory Pleasure in the Scottish Enlightenment. Lord Kames on the Art of Cookery ELISABETH SCHMIDT, Finding a ‘Genteeler Taste’. Navigating the Waters of British High Society with Good Taste, 1715-1815 LIEKE VAN DEINSEN, ‘That Way Our Tastes Differ’. Defining Vernacular Literary Taste and Tradition in the Early Eighteenth-Century Dutch Republic MARIA PIROGOVSKAYA, Constructing the Delicate Subject. Eighteenth-Century Russian Medical Books on Strong Flavours and Feeble Fibres MARIANNE KLEMUN, Classification and Experience, Rocks and Taste. ‘Vulgar Reasoning’ in Earth Sciences MYLÈNE MISTRE-SCHAAL, Sniffing. The Figuration of Olfactory Attraction in Eighteenth-Century European Art ANNA CASTELLI, The Scent of Luxury. Literary Dimensions of a Volatile Experience (with Material Aspects) HOLLY DUGAN, Juniper and Ravishment. The Role of Smell in Seventeenth-Century Narratives about Pleasure and Pain