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2017 Geddes W. Simpson Lecture
September 14, 2017 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
“Face Transplant Surgery and the Meaning of Identity: A history and case study”
Presented by Sharrona Pearl, Assistant Professor, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania
Thursday, September 14
3:30-5:00pm, with a reception to follow
Minsky Recital Hall
Both like and unlike whole organ transplants, and both like and unlike cosmetic surgery, face transplants are fodder for our most fantastic imaginaries. It is also, as of 2005, real. How do we make sense of the journey of this intervention from science fiction to science? In this talk, Sharrona Pearl will explore the history of the procedure, both in fact and fantasy, focusing on how the pre-representations of this operation reflected anxieties around manipulations to the face and its implications for identity. Pearl will focus on a case study of the first face transplant, considering how its reception was grounded in this long history of face transplant representations.
Geddes W. Simpson Lecture Series Fund. The Geddes W. Simpson Lecture Series features speakers of prominence “who have provided significant insight into the area where science and history intersect.” The Geddes W. Simpson Lecture Series Fund was established at the University of Maine Foundation in 2001 by the family of Geddes Wilson Simpson, a well-respected faculty member who began his 55-year career with the UMaine College of Life Sciences and the Maine Agricultural Experiment Station in 1931. Simpson was named chair of the Entomology Department in 1954 and remained in that position for 20 years until his retirement.