The New York Academy of Medicine is pleased to announce the Annual Friends of the Rare Book Room Lecture.
Katharine Park, Ph.D.: "The Empire of Anatomy: Rethinking Vesalius' Titlepage"
Wednesday, May 12, 2004, 6:00 PM
One of the most famous images in the history of Renaissance medicine is the titlepage of the _De humani corporis fabrica_ (1543) by the Belgian anatomist Andreas Vesalius; this shows Vesalius, surrounded by a large male audience, in the act of dissecting the uterus of a naked woman. The lecture relates this image to contemporary visual and verbal depictions of the births of Caesar and Asclepius, both of whom were extracted from the uterus of their dead mothers, as well as of the death of Agrippina, mother of the Roman emperor Nero, who was reputed to have had his mother killed and her body opened, in order to see the womb that bore him. Vesalius drew on these associations to present himself as the founder of a new empire of anatomy, based on direct visual inspection of the dissected body.
Katharine Park is Zemurray Stone Radcliffe Professor of the History of Science and of the Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Harvard University. She works on the history of science and medicine in late medieval and Renaissance Europe and the history of women, gender, and the body. Her most recent book is _Wonders and the Order of Nature, 1150-1750_ (1998), co-authored with Lorraine Daston. She is currently completing a new project, _Visible Women: Gender, Generation, and the Origins of Human Dissection_ (forthcoming 2005).
This event is free and open to the public. For more information about NYAM programs in the history of medicine, write firstname.lastname@example.org or call Christian Warren.
THE NEW YORK ACADEMY OF MEDICINE 1216 FIFTH AVENUE, NEW YORK, NY 10029
New York Academy of Medicine
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