The 19th century witnessed a dramatic change in how the world and our place in it was perceived; from science to religion to humanity’s understanding of itself. This course explores the historiography of Victorian science and culture, looking in particular at travelling, classifying and writing. With travel and exploration new cultures were explored, natural history classified, medicine developed, museums established; evolution theories discussed and writings published.

10 April — Dressing for the Job: 19th century women travellers and the public body Dr Shirley Foster, Reader in English and American Literature, University of Sheffield

17 April — The Thing to Do: Women at the British Association for the Advancement of Science, 1831-1901 Dr Rebekah Higgitt, Honorary Research Fellow, University College London

24 April — Joseph Hooker: the making of a naturalist Dr Jim Endersby, Lecturer in British History, University of Sussex

1 May – Perfection or Degeneration: Natural Selection and the Human Races Dr David Haycock, Curator of Imperial and Maritime Studies, National Maritime Museum

8 May — Darwin, Sexual Selection and the 1857 Obscene Publications Act Dr Gowan Dawson, Senior Lecturer in Victorian Studies, University of Leicester

15 May Darwin and the Beagle: ships on surprisingly different courses Dr Joe Cain, Senior Lecturer in History and Philosophy of Biology, University College London

£30/£23 series or £7.50/£5.50 each lecture. Free for students. Bookings 020 8312 8560