Exploring the hidden world of eighteenth-century male bodies

Dr Sarah Goldsmith from our School of History, Politics and International Relations has been selected as a ‘New Generation Thinker’ for 2018 by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the BBC, where she will be gaining skills in disseminating research to the public and sharing her research on men’s bodies in the eighteenth century.

Dr Goldsmith’s research examines eighteenth-century concepts behind masculinity and the body. She questions what eighteenth-century men did with their bodies, what physical forms they idolised or mocked, and what value they placed on attaining the ‘body beautiful’.

“I am absolutely delighted to have been selected for the AHRC and BBC’s New Generation Thinkers 2018," said Sarah. "The scheme offers a wonderful opportunity to work with BBC Radio 3 in exploring the best ways of communicating my research to the public and to hone my communication skills in all areas of my work. The selection process itself has already been a fascinating and challenging experience, so I very much look forward to seeing what the year brings. 

“The award also offers a fantastic opportunity to contribute to important contemporary discussions about gender, the pressure to pursue an ‘unattainable’ body beauty, and self-worth. I hope my research will provide a valuable historical contextualisation of the issues surrounding men’s body image and physicality that stimulates men of today to reflect on their own bodies and identities.” 

The ‘New Generation Thinkers’ scheme aims to develop a new generation of academics who can bring the best of university research and scholarly ideas to a broad audience through working with the media, providing early career researchers with the opportunity to communicate their research findings to those outside the academic community.