Culture and Communication studies. The study of facial features, known as physiognomy, and their relationship to character traits. Visual culture; self-fashioning and visual judgment; science and performance; freak shows through history.
Sharrona Pearl is an Assistant Professor of Communication at the Annenberg School
for Communication at the University
of Pennsylvania. An expert on physiognomy – the study of facial features and their relationship
to character traits – she previously was a post-doctoral fellow in the Committee on
Degrees in History and Literature and in the
Department of the History of Science at Harvard University. Her research has resulted in multiple
articles, commissions in book reviews, and four entries in Dictionary of Nineteenth Century British Scientists. She has served as a guest lecturer for
MIT, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada
and is the recipient of the Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in
Teaching and more recently, the Carolyn and Erwin Swann Foundation for Cartoon
and Caricature Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Library of Congress.
Professor Pearl is currently exploring the use of images by scholars, focusing on a series of case studies including freak shows, atrocity photos, natural icons, and natural history museums. She looks at the disciplining of the gaze through an educational or medical rhetoric that offers a kind of justification for the voyeurism of current scholarly practice as well as for audiences of the past.
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