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Feb 6, 2020

Dr James Poskett (Warwick) delivered this lecture on October 15th 2019 at the University of St Andrews.

Phrenology was the most popular mental science of the Victorian age. From American senators to Indian social reformers, this new mental science found supporters around the globe. James’s new book, Materials of the Mind, tells the story of how phrenology changed the world—and how the world changed phrenology. It is a story of skulls from the Arctic, plaster casts from Haiti, books from Bengal, and letters from the Pacific. It shows how the circulation of material culture underpinned the emergence of a new materialist philosophy of the mind, while also demonstrating how a global approach to history can help us reassess issues such as race, technology, and politics today.