Anatomical Representation and Bodily Difference in the Long-Nineteenth Century

This abstract has open access
Abstract Summary
This panel examines some of the various forms and techniques of anatomical representation used to construct and convey scientific understandings of human difference over the long nineteenth century. As anatomists cut into and made objects from the body, they did so with questions about the similarities and differences among humans and, often, attempted to discern anatomical criteria by which human bodies could be sorted into types. These four papers investigate how bodies were translated into scientific objects and representations. We focus on woodcuts, anatomical preparation, photography, skull collection, live demonstrations, and lithography to shed light on the representational techniques employed by anatomists to navigate notions of anatomical universality, racial typology, gender difference, and “monstrosity.” Anatomical bodies were made to speak to questions in embryology, anthropology, and medicine. We will show how bodies-- in jars, museums, photographic plates, and artist-drawn illustrations-- were crafted into and mobilized as scientifically-legible statements. By taking into account aesthetics and materiality, our papers provide insight into the methods, philosophies, projects, and preoccupations of anatomical scientists. Collectively, the panel will discuss how the creation and manipulation of anatomical objects shaped knowledge and opinion of human commonality and difference.
Abstract ID :
HSS146
Submission Type
Abstract Topic
Chronological Classification :
19th century
Self-Designated Keywords :
Teratology, monstrosity, anthropology, craniology, race, measurement, quantification, classification, material culture, representation, aesthetics, museums, photography, the Netherlands, France, Germany, popular science

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