Freaks and Pornography: Victorian Popular Anatomy Museums, Sex and the Unusual Body

anatomimuseiplanschIllustrated talk with author Sarah Kathryn York
Date: Monday, October 24th
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: $5

Presented by Morbid Anatomy

Victorian popular anatomy museums were visual spaces in which provocative depictions of women, human ‘freaks’, and ‘exotic peoples’ were displayed together in an ostensibly scientific context. Simultaneously, photographers and artists were doing a brisk trade in depictions of nude images of ‘freaks’ and women, also framed as ’scientific,’ but which, as reproduction techniques advanced, were sometimes sold to third parties as ‘artistic models’ or pornography. Popular anatomy museums were hugely popular attractions in many cities in the United States and Europe until the mid- to late-nineteenth century, when public opinion turned against them and, ultimately they were charged with obscenity alongside pornographers, and many of their collections were completely destroyed.

Tonight, join PhD candidate and author Sarah Kathryn York for a highly illustrated lecture detailing this fascinating history.

Sarah Kathryn York is a PhD candidate at the University of Waterloo. She holds M.A.s in English (WCU) and Creative Writing (UToronto). Her story collection, The Anatomy of Edouard Beaupré (Coteau Books, 2012) examines the life of the Willow Bunch Giant. A former university instructor, she is currently co-authoring a biography and is at work on a novel. She lives in Toronto and the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

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