Events, Seminars

21st April: Beauty, Ugliness, and Ideas of Racial Difference: black women in 19th century

Wednesday 21st April 2021, 4pm (UK)

Beauty, Ugliness, and Ideas of Racial Difference: black women in 19th century


Dr Rochelle Rowe

This talk will explore the ways in which black women have been used as subjects of beauty, ugliness, and markers of difference – scientific, ethnographic and artistic – in the pursuit of knowledge. It will follow the lives of two women, Sara Baartman, whose treatment as the human exhibition ‘The Hottentot Venus’ is by now infamous, and Fanny Eaton, the little-known Jamaican-born woman who worked as an artist’s model in Victorian London. This talk explores black women’s lived experiences at the centre of these processes, as they travelled, settled, lived and worked in the age of empire, from distant colonies to the heart of the rapidly expanding modern imperial city.

Dr Rochelle Rowe is Academic Development Lead in Organisational Development at UCL. She is the author of Imagining Caribbean womanhood: Race, nation and beauty competitions:1929-1970 (2016).

Register for the Zoom webinar here:


We do have a limit of 100 attendees, but you can also view the livestream of the seminar on the Women’s History Network Facebook page.