Skip to Content

College of Arts and Sciences

How war, peace and a pandemic changed the senses

Historian kicks off summer webinar series

Every now and then, a sensory revolution shocks us into seeing ― or hearing, touching, smelling or tasting ― the world differently than in the past, says Mark Smith, a history professor at the University of South Carolina.

On June 23, Smith kicked off a summer webinar series for the College of Arts and Sciences with "Sensory Revolutions: War, Peace and Pandemic through the Five Senses." In less than an hour, he shared how the printing revolution and the Enlightenment period made sight the foremost sense and how several events in the Civil War impacted people's sensory perceptions of the world. Then he explored how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting our experiences with all senses at once.

Watch his full presentation in the video below.

The College of Arts and Sciences webinar series was organized to allow alumni, students and members of the general public to hear from professors with interesting, relevant research. For information about future webinars, visit


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.