Characteristic Faces

On Hawk Noses and Chubby Cheeks

Book Description

Prejudices and stereotypes are as ancient as mankind. Why do we think we can deduce someone's characteristics by their appearance? This book is based on the contested theory of Italian doctor Lombroso on the heredity of criminality. Lombroso stated that criminal behavior is a part of human nature. He wanted to prove some forms of criminality are hereditary. Facial features, corporal constitution... as a basis to stigmatize people. But how do we deal with appearance these days, in a multicultural society? Do we still presume 'other' features are 'suspicious'? Is there such a thing as a 'born criminal'? This book also pays attention to phenomena such as physical anthropology, craniometry and phrenology.

Published to accompany an exhibition at Museum Dr Guislain, 15 March until 20 September 2015. Through exhibitions and books, The Museum Dr. Guislain aims to put the focus on important psychiatric problems and put them in a broader social and cultural context.

Text in Dutch with English summary.

About Sliggers, Bert