George Rousseau

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George Rousseau
George Rousseau lecturing in Oxford 2014.jpg
Born George Sebastian Rousseau
1941 (age 74–75)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Residence Oxfordshire, UK
Nationality American, British
Alma mater Amherst College
Princeton University
Occupation Professor
Organization University of Oxford
Known for Cultural and intellectual history and literature
Partner(s) J F Sturley (landscape gardener)

George Sebastian Rousseau (born February 23, 1941)[1] is an American cultural historian resident in the UK. He was educated at Amherst College and Princeton University where he obtained his doctorate. From 1966 to 1968 he was a member of the English Faculty at Harvard University, before moving to a professorship at UCLA, and later to the Regius Chair of English at Aberdeen University in Aberdeen, Scotland.[2] He is also a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a frequent contributor to newspapers and magazines.[3] Since then he has been attached to the History Faculty at Oxford University in Oxford, England where was the Co-Director of the Centre for the History of Childhood from 2003 - 2013. Rousseau is a cultural historian [4] who works in the interface of literature and medicine, and emphasizes the relevance of imaginative materials - literature, especially diaries and biography, art and architecture, music - for the public understanding of medicine, past and present. Rousseau is an ongoing member of the Core Team of the Norwegian Research Group in Literature and Science,[5] and, from 2016-2020, will be the Samkul Visiting Professor of the Humanities at the University of Bergen, Norway. In 2010 - 2012 Rousseau was the presenter of the Wellcome Collection Event Series in London called 'Tell It To Your Doctor'.[6] He has been awarded an honorary doctorate honoris causa by the University of Bucharest, Romania.[7]



  1. ^ [1]
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  4. ^ Raymond Stephanson, 'G. S. Rousseau as Cultural Historian', University of Toronto Quarterly 62(3) (1993): 388-400; Simon Richter, 'On the Threshold: G. S. Rousseau and the Discourses of Then and Now', The Eighteenth Century Theory and Interpretation 34 (Spring 1993): 85-95; for Rousseau's work on the human nervous system and its cultural manifestations over time see [4]; Neil Vickers, 'Literary History and the History of Neurology', History of Psychiatry 22 (December 2011): 498: 'George Rousseau's work on the transmission of neurological ideas into the literary culture of the eighteenth century ... remains the essential reference-point in English studies for all attempts to map the cultural elaboration of medical thought. In the early 1970s, Rousseau put forward the novel thesis - now universally accepted - that the cult of sensibility that was so crucial for the rise of the novel in the eighteenth century was predicated on a series of neurological experiments carried out by the Oxford physician Thomas Willis in the late seventeenth century. One of the most impressive aspects of Rousseau's work was the sheer scale of his engagement with countervailing evidence: there is no better scholar of the history of scepticism about eighteenth-century doctrines of sensibility than George Rousseau.'
  5. ^ [5]
  6. ^ [6]
  7. ^ [7]

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