Global Anatomies

Keren Hammerschlag
, Australian National University,

Natasha Ruiz-Gómez, University of Essex,

Spanning from Andreas Vesalius’ De humani corporis fabrica in the sixteenth century through to Henry Gray’s Anatomy of the Human Body in the nineteenth, European anatomical illustration has a venerated history that has been documented, studied and made the subject of major exhibitions.   A few names dominate the historical record—Leonardo da Vinci, William Hunter, George Stubbs, Frank Netter—all men, all white. In the case of some of the most lavishly illustrated anatomical atlases, only the names of the doctors who directed the production are remembered; the men and women who produced the images are relegated to the footnotes, while the names of those pictured are entirely lost to history.  The aim of this panel is to re-evaluate and decentre Western anatomical image-making traditions by bringing them into dialogue with different national, cultural and religious understandings of the inside of the human body.  These may include Asian, Latin American and Islamic medical and scientific image-making traditions, among others.  By developing accounts of human anatomy and its depiction that are global in outlook and scope, we hope to be able to address the following questions: what does anatomical imagery, broadly conceived, reveal about the people who produced it and about how they thought of particular bodies and body types?  Is anatomy universal, local or individual?  Is the anatomical body stable or shifting?  Areas of inquiry may include but are not limited to anatomy and typology; mobility; geography; power; ideology; colonialism; slavery; race; gender; and (the body’s) borders.

Information about the speakers and papers on this panel will be posted shortly. 



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