The Body on Display, from Renaissance to Enlightenment, an early-career symposium

6-7 July 2010

St Chad’s College, Durham University

Keynote speaker: Dr. Peter Mitchell (University of Wales)

Provisional Programme

Monday 5 July

Informal meal and drinks

Tuesday 6 July


Registration and coffee


Opening comments

Dr. Lutz Sauerteig (Chair, SSHM)

Prof. Holger Maehle (Director, Centre for the History of Medicine and Disease, Durham University)


Deviant Bodies

Filips Defoort (Leuven)

Jacob Boehme’s (1575-1624) Depiction of Man’s Hideous and Monstrous Animal-Like Body

Claire Bowditch (Loughborough)

‘Lies, Dreams, and Fond Fantasies’: Corporeality, Desire, and the Early-Modern Hermaphrodite

Harriet Plafreyman (Warwick)

Faces of Disease: Images and the Display of Knowledge about Venereal Disease in the Late Eighteenth Century

Chair: James Russell




Dead Bodies

Elena Taddia (independent scholar)

Infant Corpses Exposed: Experimentations on Children’s Bodies in Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Europe

Armelle Sabatier (Paris, II)

Flesh v. Bones in Jacobean Drama: Displaying Human Corporeality in Tourneur’s The Atheist’s Tragedy

David Packwood (Warwick)

Specular Visuality and Artistic Self-Reflexivity in Pietro de Cortona’s Drawings of the Tabulae Anatomicae of 1619

Richelle Munkhoff (Colorado)

Bodies into Text: Poor Women and the Reading of Corpses in Early Modern London

Chair: Sebastian Pranghofer


Lunch (provided)


The Body Illustrated

Swarup Swaminathan (Harvard)

Anatomy, Art, and Aristotle: A Formal and Philosophical System of Reference in the Title Page of Vesalius’ De Humana Corporis Fabrica

Sebastian Pranghofer (Durham)

Nature, Beauty and Truth: Early Modern Anatomical Illustrations of the Lymphatic System

Marieke Hendriksen (Leiden)

The Aesthetics of Eighteenth-Century Anatomy: the Anatomical Illustrations of Petrus Camper (1722-1789) and the Hunter brothers (1718-1793)

David Martin (Goldsmiths)

The Sacred Cut: Exploring the Iconography of Renaissance Anatomical Woodcuts

Chair: Dr. Matthew D. Eddy


Bodily Surfaces

George Newberry (Sheffield)

The Senses and Sensitivity as Expressions of ‘Racial’ Difference in Eighteenth-Century Science and Anatomy

Lindsey Fitzharris (UCL)

‘Beauty is only Skin-Deep’: Fears Concerning Deformity and the Rising Importance of Surgeons in Restoration London

Antoine Roullet (Paris IV)

Corporal Mortification as Iconoclasm

Chair: Dr. Stefano Cracolici




Public Lecture, Dr. Peter Mitchell: “Shall I the Hearts un-equall sides explain…? Or, shall I rip the Stomachs hollowness…?” Representation and the literary associations of anatomy in the early seventeenth century.


Conference Dinner, Oldfields Restaurant

Wednesday 7 July




Masculinity on Display

Darren Wagner (York)

Hung, Dried, and Blown-Up: Male Genitalia in Late Seventeenth- and Early-Eighteenth-Century Anatomy and Physiology

Maya Corry (Oxford)

Ambiguously Gendered Bodies: Male Beauty and Self-Fashioning in Italian Renaissance Art and Thought

Natalie Awais-Dean (Queen Mary’s)

Communicating Ideals: The Male Body Adorned in the Early Modern Period

Chair: Dr. Cathy McClive (Durham)




The Beautiful Body

Tom Blaen (Exeter)

‘Not used to be worn as a jewel’: Precious Stones – Ornament or Medicine?

Emma Markiewicz (National Archives)

Hair: The Appearance of Beauty and Well Being in Eighteenth-Century England

Elizabeth Upper (Cambridge)

Why is she Beautiful? Representations of Bodies and Garments in Albrecht Altdorfer’s Bautiful Virgin of Regensburg (ca. 1519/20)

Chair: Sara Read


Lunch (provided) and visit to the rare books exhibition (Palace Green Library)


Public Bodies, Bodies and the Public

Vincent Van Roy (Antwerp)

Medical Sensation as an Advance in ‘Public’ Science? Representations of Body Pathologies in Medical Illustrations, Preparations and

‘rariteytenkabinetten’ (Cabinets of Strange Things) During the Early Modern Time (1500 – 1800)

Patrick Schmidt (Cambridge)

Advertising ‘Disability’: Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Freakshows and their Promotion in Contemporary Printed Media

Emily O’Brien (Trinity)

The Murdered Body on Display: Exposing the Truth in Early Modern Murder Pamphlets and Plays

Chair: Prof. Richard Maber




Remarks and reflections: Dr. Peter Mitchell




Closing comments

With an exhibition of rare printed books (Palace Green Library, Durham University)

For more information and registration forms, please see the website <>  or email [email protected]