David Copeland presents for American Journalism Historians Association
David Copeland, A.J. Fletcher Professor in the School of Communications, recently presented a research paper at the annual American Journalism Historians Association Convention in Tucson, Ariz.
Titled "Reading Heads to Justify Slavery: Phrenology in the Press of Antebellum America," the research looked at the ways people who supported slavery in America used phrenology, which said that the shape, size, protrusions and depressions of the skull could be used to determine personality, intellect, temperament and character, to justify the continuance of slavery.
The paper also explored the way in which abolitionists used phrenology to portray black Americans as equal in ability to white Americans.