11/12/15 // Hands on (Digital) Humanities: Miriam Posner

Head-and-Shoulder Hunting in the Americas: Exploring Lobotomy’s Visual Culture
Miriam Posner

Thursday, November 12, 2015 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm // 210 Humanities
Co-sponsored by the University Library

lobotomy1 Head-and-Shoulder Hunting in the Americas: Exploring Lobotomy’s Visual Culture


Between 1936 and 1967, Walter Freeman, a prominent neurologist, lobotomized as many as 3,500 Americans. Freeman was also an obsessive photographer, taking patients’ photographs before their operations and tracking them down years — even decades — later. In this presentation, Miriam Posner details her efforts to understand why Freeman was so devoted to this practice, using computer-assisted image-mining and -analysis techniques to show how these images fit into the larger visual culture of 20th-century psychiatry.

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Dr. Miriam Posner is the Digital Humanities program coordinator and a member of the core DH faculty at the University of California, Los Angeles. A film, media, and visual culture scholar by training, she frequently writes on the history of science and technology. She is also a member of the executive council of the Association for Computers and the Humanities.

Contact digitalhumanities@ucsc.edu for more information.


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