History of Women, Gender and Sexuality Seminar- High Brow, Low Brow: Phrenology, Fashion, and Female Activism in the Nineteenth Century

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Between the 1830s and 1860s, Americans began fighting over a curious topic: female foreheads. While feminists and phrenologists saw “high brows” as an alluring sign of intelligence in women, gender conservatives viewed them as a troubling assault on patriarchal hierarchies. At first glance, the public battles over female foreheads might seem like frivolous exchanges over women’s appearances. In reality, they were not just political conflicts but also scientific debates about the capacities of the female brain.

The History of Women, Gender, & Sexuality Seminar invites you to join the conversation. Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paper. Learn more.

Please note, this is an online event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive an email with links to join the program.