Head-and-Shoulder Hunting in the Americas: Walter Freeman 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.
Miriam Posner is the Digital Humanities program coordinator and a member of the core Digital Humanities 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, technology, and medicine. She is also a member of the executive council of the Association for Computers and the Humanities.
This lecture is part of the New York Academy of Medicine Library’s History of Medicine series.
Free and open to the public; advance registration is requested. To register for this event, click here: Visual Culture of Lobotomy
Emily Miranker, Projects Coordinator