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‘A Monkey into a Man’

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 -
5:30pm to 7:00pm
St Anne’s College, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6HS
Seminar Room 3



Speaker: Professor Gowan Dawson, University of Leicester

A Monkey into a Man’: Thomas Henry Huxley, Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins and the Making of an Evolutionary Icon

The frontispiece to Thomas Henry Huxley’s Evidence as to Man’s Place in Nature (1863), showing a sequence of primate skeletons becoming successively taller and more erect before finally reaching the upright human form, is one of the most iconic visual representations of evolution.  This paper will explore the personal tensions and intellectual conflicts amidst which the famous frontispiece was created, revealing the festering antagonism between Huxley and the artist Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins which makes the image far stranger and more ambiguous than has previously been recognized.

Drinks will be served after each seminar. All welcome, no booking required.



Open to all