Andrew Mangham (University of Reading) will be presenting his paper, ‘Bleeding Corpses and Other Nasties: Early Forensics and Popular Nineteenth-Century Literature’, at 5.30pm on Tuesday, 16 April 2013. The talk will take place in the Cardiff University’s John Percival Building, Room 2.48.
This paper gives an overview of the rise of forensic science in the early nineteenth century, and questions the role that popular short stories from periodicals like the Terrific Register had on popular ideas of evidence, truth, and guilt. In particular, I’ll focus on grisly images of bleeding corpses and live burials to show how the 1820s marked a period of change in the interpretation of anatomical evidence: benighted notions of natural justice were beginning to be superseded by a clinical approach to truth which privileged empirical detail and hard evidence.
About the speaker
Andrew Mangham is Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Reading. His primary area of interest is Victorian literature, in particular the intersections between medical epistemologies and literary form. His research has focused on female psychology and the sensation novel, forensic medicine and Dickens, and the philosophy of science in the 19th century. In addition to book chapters and journal articles, he is the author of Violent Women and Sensation Fiction: Crime, medicine and Victorian Popular Fiction (2007) and co-editor of The Female Body in Medicine and Literature (2011).