From ancient times to popular self-help books today, eyes have been viewed as 'windows to the soul'. The interpretation of eye shape and colour have been used to distinguish between different degrees of 'civilization' (scientific racism), to identify personality traits, and to detect terrorists (recent research carried out by the CIA and the U.S. Transportation Security Administration). In some Asian societies, double eyelid surgery is popular.
This lecture explores the politics of scientific theories about eyes.
A lecture by Joanna Bourke, Gresham Professor of Rhetoric 21 November
The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the Gresham College website: https://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and-events/history-of-the-eye
Gresham College has been giving free public lectures since 1597. This tradition continues today with all of our five or so public lectures a week being made available for free download from our website. There are currently over 2,000 lectures free to access or download from the website.