Django's phrenologist: science, slavery and the material culture of race, 1791-1863

Darwin College Humanities and Social Sciences Group
Dr James Poskett, Darwin College
The Richard King Room, Darwin College
Tuesday, October 11, 2016 - 14:00 to 15:00

"Born a slave on the French colony of Saint-Domingue in 1773, Eustache Belin spent his youth toiling in the sugar mills. But amidst the Haitian Revolution of 1791, he escaped to Paris. Incredibly, in the 1830s, a French phrenologist took a cast of Eustache's head. Over the next thirty years, Eustache became a focal point for discussion of African character. In this talk, I follow the bust of Eustache as it travelled back and forth across the Atlantic Ocean. In doing so, I reassess the relationship between science, slavery and race in the early nineteenth century.

Dr James Poskett is the Adrian Research Fellow at Darwin College, University of Cambridge. He works broadly on the global and imperial history of science between 1750 and 1900, having completed his PhD at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge. He is currently completing a book on the global history of phrenology."

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