Concerning Beards: Facial Hair, Health and Hygiene in Britain, c. 1650-1900

Drawing on the findings of a three-year research project funded by the Wellcome Trust, this talk will explore the diverse health and medical contexts of facial hair between 1650 and 1900.

Concerning Beards: Facial Hair, Health and Hygiene in Britain, c. 1650-1900

About Concerning Beards: Facial Hair, Health and Hygiene in Britain, c. 1650-1900

Speaker: Dr Alun Withey, University of Essex

Despite growing historical interest in the male body, historians have, until fairly recently, overlooked a principle component of both men’s bodies and masculinity - facial hair. Little is yet known about the significance, context and meanings of beards, moustaches and, indeed, beardlessness through time, or their relationship to important medical factors including health norms, medical practice, technology and shifting models of the male body.

Drawing on the findings of a three-year research project funded by the Wellcome Trust, this talk will explore the diverse health and medical contexts of facial hair between 1650 and 1900. Often seen as a quirky irrelevance, facial hair, and indeed beardlessness, offers a new lens through which to view changing concepts of bodily appearance, medical practice and practitioners, and the impact of technology upon the male body.

While we take every opportunity to ensure the details for Concerning Beards: Facial Hair, Health and Hygiene in Britain, c. 1650-1900 are accurate, we always advise that you contact the event organiser before setting out for the event to avoid disapointment. All information (whether in text or photographs) is given in good faith but should not be relied upon as being a statement of representation or fact.

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