ASU English 19th Century British Studies

Pamela K. Gilbert "'A Mild Erection of the Head': The Meaning of the Blush in Nineteenth-Century Britain"

The Fletcher Lecture 2015
english.clas.asu.edu/fletcher

The 2014-2015 Ian Fletcher Memorial Lecture features Pamela Gilbert, the Albert Brick Professor in the Department of English at the University of Florida. Gilbert has published widely in the areas of Victorian literature, cultural studies and the history of medicine. Her first book, Disease, Desire and the Body in Victorian Women’s Popular Novels, was published by Cambridge University Press in 1997, followed by Mapping the Victorian Social Body (SUNY Press, 2004), The Citizen’s Body (Ohio State University Press, 2007), and Cholera and Nation (SUNY Press, 2008). Gilbert’s most recent articles include “Disease and the Body” in The Victorian World; “Women and Medicine in the Age of Empire” in The Cultural History of Women in The Age of Empire (1800-1920); and “‘A Nation of Good Animals’: Popular Beliefs and the Body,” in A Cultural History of the Body.

Gilbert will present the talk, "'A Mild Erection of the Head': The Meaning of the Blush in Nineteenth-Century Britain." One might assume that the frequent mention of blushing in British nineteenth-century literature is simply part of an emphasis on female modesty. In fact, both self-consciousness and the blush were embroiled in a history of contentious discussion in the period: on materialism, the human-animal divide, the embodied mind, the function of the nervous system, evolution, criminology, and even theology. Gilbert's presentation will trace several aspects of this discussion through the period, with special attention to the anatomist Charles Bell and Charles Darwin.

April 14, 2015 | 5:30 p.m.
University Club (UCLUB) ASU Tempe campus

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ASU English 19th Century British Studies

ASU English Plus

The 19th century area has internationally known faculty who research and teach a range of topics in the period. Some strong thematic threads of our work include gender and society, natural history, science and literature, and studies in urban and rural


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The 19th century area has internationally known faculty who research and teach a range of topics in the period. Some strong thematic threads of our work include gender and society, natural history, science and literature, and studies in urban and rural landscapes. Faculty maintain a very active publication portfolio providing innovations to literature and cultural studies of the period.

Our graduate students currently serve as bloggers for the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism. We participate in a bi-monthly colloquim. Our program offers teaching assistantships and opportunities to intern at the library archives.

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