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Materials of the MindPhrenology, Race, and the Global History of Science, 1815-1920$
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James Poskett

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226626758

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226626895.001.0001

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(p.115) Chapter 4 Letters
Materials of the Mind

James Poskett

University of Chicago Press

This chapter argues that phrenologists used correspondence to establish reform as a global political project. It explores this argument in three different reform debates: abolition, education, and prisons. In doing so, it traces the relationship between science and politics across the globe, ranging from the United States to the Pacific. It also argues that phrenologists saw the very act of writing a letter as a practice of reform in its own right, a practice which could reform the mind as well.

Keywords:   letters, correspondence, reform, political thought, slavery, prisons, education, schools, mental science, character

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