Fears and Phobias in the Victorian Age
Professor Sally Shuttleworth (St Anne’s College, Oxford)
Tuesday, 2 February 5.30–6.30pm, John Percival Building, Lecture Theatre 2.03
*** Wine Reception from 5pm ***
A Collaborative Interdisciplinary Study of Science, Medicine and the Imagination Research Group Seminar with support from the Centre for Editorial and Intertextual Research and Wellcome Trust Cardiff ISSF Science Humanities Initiative.
In this seminar the internationally renowned literature and science scholar Sally Shuttleworth will explore some of the medical, literary and cultural responses in the Victorian age to the perceived problems of stress and overwork, anticipating many of the preoccupations of our own era.
The late nineteenth century was an era preoccupied with fear, and the medical diagnosis of phobias. The American psychologist, G. Stanley Hall, for example, identified no less than 138 different types of pathological fear. In this talk, Sally will explore the intersection of cultural, literary and medical discourses of fear in the period, looking particularly at the impact of literary texts on emerging psychiatric theories of phobia.
Following her main talk, Sally will speak about the genesis of the ‘Diseases of Modern Life‘ project and the European Research Council grant that supports it. This is a chance to hear a leading scholar provide an insight into grant capture on the European stage.
About Sally Shuttleworth
Sally Shuttleworth is Professor of English Literature at St Anne’s College, Oxford. In her most recent book, The Mind of the Child: Child Development in Literature, Science and Medicine, 1840–1900 (OUP, 2010), she looked at a range of literary texts, including Dickens, Brontë, Eliot, Meredith, James, Hardy and Gosse, in the light of the emerging sciences of child psychology and psychiatry, and the impact of evolutionary theory. She is currently extending her work on the interface of literature, science and culture with two large projects: ‘Diseases of Modern Life‘ and the large AHRC four-year grant in the field of Science and Culture, on ‘Constructing Scientific Communities: Citizen Science in the 19th and 21st Centuries’. She is working with Professor Gowan Dawson at the University of Leicester, and her colleague in Astrophysics at Oxford, Dr Chris Lintott, and partner institutions, the Natural History Museum, the Royal Society and the Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons.