337 Cohen Hall
Pamela Gilbert, University of Florida
"Skin: Surface and Self in the Nineteenth Century"
Abstract: Any person today reading British nineteenth century literature will be struck by the frequent mention of characters blushing—part, one might dismissively assume, simply of a general emphasis on female modesty. In fact, the blush was embroiled in a history of contentious discussion in the period: on materialism, evolution, the human-animal divide, the origin of affect, the function of the nervous system, criminology and even theology. This talk will trace several aspects of this discussion through the period, with special attention to the anatomist Charles Bell and Charles Darwin.