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Monday, 27 September 2021, 6:00PM - 7:00PM
Barnard's Inn Hall

Apes in Science Fiction

Professor Jim Endersby

Because apes seem most like humans, science fiction has used them as a mirror in which to view ourselves. The philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau saw in orangutans the original, natural man, uncorrupted by society. Meanwhile most of his contemporaries used apes to embody racially charged fantasies of bestial brutality. These conflicting views shaped the numerous versions of King Kong and the Planet of the Apes films, which the lecture will use to look at evolving images of humanity.


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Jim is Visiting Gresham Professor in the History of Science. 

He is Professor of the History of Science at the University of Sussex and specialises in Victorian natural history and the modern genetics and has presented programmes for BBC Radio 4.

Professor Endersby's lecture series are as follows:

2021/22 How Not To Be Human: Exploring Humanity Through Science Fiction

2020/21 Darwin's Descent: Monkeys, Orchids and Myths

2019/20 Utopian Gardens

All lectures by the Visiting Professor in the History of Science can be accessed here.

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