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Head-and-Shoulder Hunting in the Americas: Walter Freeman and the Visual Culture of Lobotomy

Events

Speaker:

Miriam Posner

Date:

Thursday, December 3, 2015 - 12:00pm - 1:30pm

Location:

Pigott Hall (Bldg. 260), Room 252

Language:

Type:

Lecture

Head-and-Shoulder Hunting in the Americas: Walter Freeman and the Visual Culture of Lobotomy

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.