Monday Lecture – 4th May, Dr Helen Davies:The freak show in Victorian Birmingham: The strange case of Millie and Christine
May 4 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Millie and Christine McCoy were African American conjoined twins, born into slavery in America’s Deep South in 1851. They were stolen from their family at an early age, and trafficked around North America and Europe until being discovered on exhibition in Birmingham. This talk explores their extraordinary life, and focuses upon the sensational coverage of their rescue in the Birmingham local press. What can the strange case of Millie and Christine tell us about attitudes towards gender, race, and bodily difference in the context of the Victorian freak show?
Dr Helen Davies is Head of English and Creative Writing at Newman University, Birmingham. She is the author of Gender and Ventriloquism in Victorian and Neo-Victorian Fiction: Passionate Puppets (Palgrave, 2012) and Neo-Victorian Freakery: The Cultural Afterlife of the Victorian Freak Show (Palgrave, 2015). She is currently writing a book, Re-Reading the Victorian Freak Show: Texts, Contexts, Politics.