Image caption: VISA 3V91 Inside Out – Revealing the Anatomical Body will examine images of the anatomical body in historical medical texts, such as this wooden female anatomical figure (Europe, 1601-1700) from the Science Museum, London, care of Wellcome Collection under a Creative Commons license.
A new course open to all Brock University students will critically examine anatomical illustrations throughout history and unpack what these visual representations reveal culturally, socially and artistically.
Offered in the upcoming Spring/Summer Term, VISA 3V91 — Inside Out — Revealing the Anatomical Body is a new course developed and taught by Linda Carreiro, Associate Dean of Fine and Performing Arts and Professor of Visual Arts.
Based out of Brock’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA), VISA 3V91 is offered as a half course and is open to students across campus. No previous art history knowledge or artistic skills are required to enrol.
Students will critically examine ‘flap anatomy’ found in historical medical and popular texts dating back to the 1500s, whereby images of layers of the body are peeled open to reveal muscle, organs and skeletal structures. Carreiro is interested in how this convention started, how it evolved and what the implications are from a socio-political perspective.
The evolution of models and images in historical medical texts is a research specialization for Carreiro, and she is thrilled to bring her learnings and insights to Brock students.
“Some of the images and models are absolutely stunning from an artistic perspective,” she says, “but these devices convey so much more than how the anatomical structures fit together.”
Carreiro says it is important to examine who ended up on the dissection table in order to create these images, and what these images might reveal about that particular context.
“Looking at images of public dissection theatres and profiles of anatomists can provide some of these insights,” she says.
Students can expect to engage in critical readings, discussions and writing, with the opportunity to engage in studio work. Students must have a minimum of 5.0 overall credits and a minimum 60 per cent overall average or permission of the instructor to register for the course.
Registration for Spring/Summer courses is now open through the Admissions website.