Tag Archives: Darwin

Black Venus

  The last movie in our film series was the controversial Black Venus (Vénus Noire, 2010), by director Abdellatif Kechiche. The film is based on the life of Sara Baartman, a Khoikhoi woman, who was exhibited in early nineteenth-century in … Continue reading

Inherit the wind

The Darwin Correspondence Project was presenting yesterday the first instalment of the Darwin and Human Nature film series, “Inherit the wind”.     If you ever have wondered about the title, it comes from Proverbs 11:29, which in the King … Continue reading

Soulful eyes…

The discovery of the lesula, (Cercopithecus lomamiensis) a species of monkey previously unknown to scientists, has led to a number of articles highlighting the similarities between the soulful, large-eyed gaze of the monkey and numerous famous faces of art and … Continue reading

Rubicon crossed?

A long-standing debate concerns whether humans are specialized for speech perception ; in the the second half of the nineteenth century, two of the primary figures in this debate were Charles Darwin and Friedrich Max Müller.   A distinguished scholar and … Continue reading

Too Human in Nature?

The human-like qualities of great apes have always been a source of scientific and popular fascination, and no less in the Victorian period than in any other. Darwin himself, of course, marshalled similarities in physiology, behaviour and emotional expression between … Continue reading

It’s all in the language !

How can an English bishop and a French évêque help Darwin explain his theories about species and natural selection?   In the middle of the nineteenth century, linguists were concerned with establishing genetic relationships between the English language and cognates … Continue reading

Darwin and phrenology

According to the phrenological doctrine, as elaborated by Franz Joseph Gall, the shape of the skull reflects the `organs’ or faculties of the brain. Phrenology attained considerable popularity in England: by 1832 there were 29 phrenological societies and an influential journal edited … Continue reading

Darwin’s hobby-horse

When does a hobby become a scientific subject ? Thanks to Darwin’s correspondence, we can get an insight  into what  Darwin called “an uncommonly curious subject” and his very own “hobby-horse”. The “uncommonly curious subject” was the expression of emotions … Continue reading

The ‘Darwin and Human Nature’ Project is under way !

Dr Sophie Defrance has been appointed research associate for the ‘Human Nature’ stream of the Darwin CorrespondenceProject.   Among the areas of interest for the ‘Darwin and Human Nature’ project are: * The development of Darwin’s theory of human origins … Continue reading