[Milton-L] Prelapsarian hair dressing

Brooke Conti brookeallison at gmail.com
Thu Aug 5 11:10:37 EDT 2010


I believe it was in Will Fisher's *Materializing Gender* (which has a
chapter on the politics of Adam and Eve's hair) that I read that hair in the
Early Modern period was understood as a secondary sex characteristic--the
belief was that a woman's hair would always, naturally, be longer than a
man's even if both never cut it.

Though that doesn't explain how/whether Adam's hair would magically remain
perpetually at shoulder-length.

Best,
Brooke



On Thu, Aug 5, 2010 at 10:32 AM, Jeffrey Shoulson <
jshoulson at mail.as.miami.edu> wrote:

> Here's a question one of my students posed--admittedly a little silly, but
> intriguing, nonetheless--for which I did not have a very satisfying answer.
>  Perhaps some listserv subscriber can offer a better one:
>
> Book 4's description of Adam and Eve famously makes much of their hair and,
> particularly, how their respective hair lengths manifest their gendered
> differences.  If we are to presume that things like knives and blades would
> not have been necessary or invented (cf. this list's earlier exchange about
> the Satanic origins of technological invention) had the Fall never occurred,
> what can we assume would have happened to Adam's and Eve's hair over time?
>  Would it have simply stayed the same length?  Would they have found other
> means to keep their hair in the state in which we first see them?
>
> (I won't even bother to add the further question I got about the apparent
> absence of prelapsarian facial hair on Adam).
>
> If the question is beneath this list or too silly, feel free to ignore.  I
> did tell my students, however, that I would put it out on the list and see
> what it elicited.
>
> I need a haircut.
>
> Jeffrey
>
>
> Jeffrey S. Shoulson, Ph. D.
> Associate Professor of English and Judaic Studies
> University of Miami
> PO Box 248145
> Coral Gables, FL 33124-4632
>
> (o) 305-284-5596
> (f) 305-284-5635
>
> ON LEAVE, AY 2010-11
>
> jshoulson at miami.edu
> *www.as.miami.edu/english/people/#jshoulson*
>
>
>
>
>
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