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"Manifestations of the Mind: Phrenology in New York State"
While phrenology often merits only a footnote in modern examinations of social and medical history, it played an important role in how people regarded themselves and others during the formative years of the 1840s. Influencing topics as varied as courtship, employment, criminal justice, abolition, medicine, and suffrage, phrenology was intertwined throughout the everyday lives of many. We will also examine the darker sides of the now debunked concepts, exploring how people of color and indigenous populations were further disenfranchised by its teachings.
Anne Clothier is Director of Education at the Saratoga County History Center at Brookside Museum in Ballston Spa. Her particular areas of interest are medical history and early photography. She is a graduate of SUNY College at Oneonta and the Cooperstown Graduate Program in Museum Studies, where her thesis focused on the use of phrenology in prison reform in the 1840s.