Workshop 3

Working Faces: Facial Expression and New Models of Likeness in Portraiture

Friday 8 April 2011, University College London

This workshop will examine how scientific study of the face shifted from physiognomy to pathognomy in the 19th and 20th centuries with studies of facial expression and emotion. It will analyse the applicability to portraiture of these theories of facial expression and more recent facial recognition research focusing on the moving image. It will also consider the rise of ‘neuroarthistory’ and the implications of the retrospective application of ideas from neurology onto portraiture. Finally it will consider alternative ways of expressing likeness in modern and contemporary portrait photography and film. 

Reflections of a smile
Wellcome Images 8 Eyes

Left to right: Dianne Harris, Reflections of a Smile (2002), images © Wellcome Images

After Charles Le Brun, Eight Eyes, images © Wellcome Images


Chair: Maria Loh (History of Art Department, University College London)

John Onians (University of East Anglia)
Neuroarthistory and the face

Jeremy Tree (Swansea University)
Talking heads - can motion-based information improve face processing in prosopagnosia?

Ruth Leys (Johns Hopkins University)
‘Both of us disgusted in my insula’, or, How is emotional empathy supposed to work?

Alan Johnston (University College London)
Dynamic faces

Mandy Merck (Royal Holloway, University of London)
Recognition and celebrity

Paul White (Darwin Research Project, University of Cambridge)
Darwinian expression and the face of physiology

Nathalie Herschdorfer (Curator Alt+ 1000 Festival, formerly Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne)
Making faces: the new photographic portrait


Abstracts of presentations can be downloaded here.

Final report

Download the final report