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Date & Time

Wednesday, October 27, 2021
6:30 PM






Seminary Co-op Bookstore
(773) 752-4381


Join us for a conversation with Jude Stewart on her book, Revelations in Air: A Guidebook to Smell. She will be in joined in discussion by Christopher Kemp.

Presented in partnership with ISC

About the book: Overlapping with taste yet larger in scope, smell is the sense that comes closest to pure perception. Smell can collapse space and time, unlocking memories and transporting us to worlds both new and familiar. Yet as clearly as each of us can recognize different smells--the bright tang of citrus, freshly sharpened pencils, parched earth after rain--few of us understand how and why we smell.

In Revelations in Air, Jude Stewart takes us on a fascinating journey into the weird and wonderful world of smell. Beginning with lessons on the incredible biology and history of how our noses work, Stewart teaches us how to use our noses like experts. Once we're properly equipped and ready to sniff, Stewart explores a range of smells--from lavender, cut grass and hot chocolate to cannabis and old books--using smell as a lens into art, history, science, and more. With an engaging colorful design and exercises for readers to refine their own skills, Revelations in Air goes beyond science or history or chemistry--it's a doorway into the surprising, pleasurable, and unfamiliar landscape of smell.

About the author: Jude Stewart writes about design and culture for Slate, the Believer, Fast Company, Design Observer and other publications. She is also a contributing editor at PRINT magazine. She is the author of ROY G. BIV (2013) and Patternalia, (2015) and most recently Revelations in Air: A Guidebook to Smell. Stewart lives in Chicago.

About the interlocutor: Christopher Kemp is a molecular biologist. He's written for Nature, Science, Outside, and New Scientist, and is the author of Floating Gold: A Natural (and Unnatural) History of Ambergris (2012), The Lost Species (2017), and the upcoming Dark and Magical Places: The Neuroscience of Navigation (2022). He lives in Michigan with his wife, three sons, and a dog.