Anatomy as Spectacle
Public Exhibitions of the Body from 1700 to the Present
Dr Elizabeth Stephens is ARC Research Fellow at the University of Queensland.
List of Figures Acknowledgements Introduction 1. The Docile Subject of Anatomy: Gynomorphic Waxworks in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Public Exhibitions 2. Lost Manhood: Turn-of-the-Century "Museums of Anatomy" and the Spermatorrhoea Epidemic 3.From the Freak to the Disabled Person: Anatomical Difference as Public Spectacle and Private Condition 4. Inventing the Bodily Interior: Ecorche Figures in Early Modern Anatomy and von Hagens' Body Worlds Conclusion Bibliography Index
Stephens’ Anatomy as Spectacle offers a fresh and engaging account of the budding, and indeed the wilting, of a historical nexus between exhibitory cultures and practices, medicine as a discipline that disciplines, and of course the maintenance, meaning and value of particular bodies in the everyday. It is well worth a read for scholars interested or doing research in fields such as disability studies, sensory studies, gender studies and indeed that spacious, noisy interval at which these are often drawn together: cultural studies.
Somatechnics, Volume 2, Issue 2
Anatomy as Spectacle makes an important contribution to the history of science by underscoring the crucial place of cultural history within the discipline. Stephens’s use of visual and material sources demonstrates the ways in which a close reading of these types of “texts” challenges received narratives about the professionalization of science.
ISIS Volume 103, number 2
Scholars from diverse disciplines will be interested in the material that Elizabeth Stephens traverses: wax Venuses, popular and educative anatomy museums, sideshow exhibitions of freakish bodies. Stephens engages with the literature on “spectacular” anatomy from a cultural studies perspective and offers an excellent entry point to a large and burgeoning multidisciplinary literature on a subject that continues to intrigue both scholars and popular audiences.
American Historical Review
A pleasure to read, this well-written book offers many thoughtful and provocative reflections on anatomy and exhibition and will appeal to a wide range of scholars concerned with disability, culture and medical history.
Size: 234 × 156 mm
Publication: September 2, 2013
Series: Representations: Health, Disability, Culture and Society 5