Severed Heads and the Perils of the High Seas
Sunday 16th October from 1:00 pm

Over the centuries human heads have decorated our churches, festooned our city walls and filled our museums; they have been props for artists and specimens for laboratory scientists, trophies for soldiers and items of barter. Today, as videos of decapitations circulate online and cryonicists promise that our heads may one day live on without our bodies, the severed head is as contentious and compelling as ever. From shrunken heads to trophies of war; from memento mori to Damien Hirst's With Dead Head; from grave-robbing phrenologists to enterprising scientists, MATT GREEN explores the bizarre, often gruesome and confounding history of the severed head.

Going to sea in the 18th century was a dangerous business. If you didn’t lose your way, get shipwrecked or die of scurvy, you risked death at the hands of foreign wildlife or angry indigenous peoples. The museum archive – that seemingly orderly and safe space – is rife with tales of gruesome, mysterious, and often rather ridiculous deaths. Join KATY BARRETT from the Royal Museums Greenwich to hear tales of murder, curses, cannibalism, madness, and even the eating of pet cats.

Tickets £12 including a gin cocktail. Please click here to buy.

Matt Green
After completing a PhD in the history of the mass media at Oxford University, Dr Matthew Green hung up his gown and mortar board, moved to East London, and turned to popular history. He is passionate about bringing history to life across a range of media. He is the director of Unreal City Audio, writes for the Guardian and the Telegraph, gives sell-out talks all over London, and has appeared in history documentaries on BBC4, ITV and BBC2. Having written a limited-edition 18th-century style pamphlet on the lost world of the London coffeehouse, published by Idler Books, his new book London: A Travel Guide Through Time, was published by Penguin in June 2015.

Katy Barrett
Katy Barrett is the Curator of Art, pre-1800 at Royal Museums Greenwich. Her PhD at the University of Cambridge was part of the 'Board of Longitude Project' looking at the cultural history of the longitude problem in the eighteenth century through the world of William Hogarth. She writes regularly for Apollo Magazine, and is the self-appointed curator of the #MuseumofShadows on Twitter. She was part of the 100 Hours Project at UCL.