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Literature, Education and the Sciences of the Mind in Britain and America, 1850-1950

17th July - 18th July

17–18 July 2018 – University of Kent
Keynote Speakers: Professor Helen Small, Pembroke College, University of Oxford
Professor Priscilla Wald, Duke University

This conference aims to stimulate a wide-ranging discussion about the interactions between British and American literature, education, and the sciences of the mind between 1850–1950. We welcome paper and panel proposals on any aspect of British or American literature, education and/or the sciences of the mind broadly construed. This conference is part of Dr Sara Lyons’ (PI), Dr Michael Collins’ (Co-I) and Dr Fran Bigman’s (Research Associate) AHRC-funded project, Literary Culture, Meritocracy, and the Assessment of Intelligence in Britain and America, 1880–1920. The project is an investigation of how British and American novelists understood and represented intellectual ability in the period, with a particular focus on how they responded to the rise of intelligence testing and the associated concepts of I.Q. and meritocracy. For additional information, please visit our website:​ Possible topics include literature and:

• Teaching and Being Taught; pedagogical theory and practice
• Representations of Places of Learning
• Examinations, grades, scholarships, qualifications
• Inequality, Discrimination, and Exclusion in Education
• Academic Success and Failure
• Literacy and Illiteracy
• Intellectuals, Experts, Professionalism
• Autodidacticism, Informal Education
• Varieties of education: aesthetic, classical, moral, religious, scientific, technical
• Learning Styles and Types of Intelligence
• Intellectual ability and disability

As well as literature and:

• Professionalisation/ Institutionalisation of Psychology
• Social Psychology
• Developmental Psychology
• Psychometrics and personality testing
• Physiology and psychology
• Psychological Schools and Controversies
• Psychology and Philosophy
• Experimental Psychology
• Psychiatry
• Sexology
• Parapsychology
• Eugenics
• Language and Cognition

More information:


17th July
18th July