Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

You are here

Midterm Project on Robert Wadlow

helenaff's picture
PDF icon Robert Wadlow - Midterm Project.pdf1.82 MB


Miriam's picture

I really enjoyed reading your paper on Robert Wadlow. This seems like a really interesting piece of history and example of the fetishizing and exploitation of "abnormal" bodies. The thing that interested me most about the Robert Wadlow exhibit was his family's relationship to the display of Robert as a historical figure. Wadlow's mother burning his possessions in order to avoid this type of display, and his brother's attempts to assure that Robert was portrayed in a nonfetishizing way reflect a family that was very aware of the way that Robert was taken advantage of in his lifetime due to his height. I was surprised that Robert's brother actually helped with the creation of the exhibit and contributed to it significantly. I agree with you that even with the holistic portrait of Robert's life provided in the exhibit, it is still definitely a form of sensationalizing. It is unclear to me how Robert would feel about the exhibit, since in his lifetime he did seem to voluntarily participate in other types of sensationalizing (such as the shoe partnership) but that may have been out of some sort of necessity.