Hardback
August 15, 2011
9781421401423
English
280
101755
13
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0.93 Inches (US)
1.15 Pounds (US)
$58.00 USD, £43.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Electronic book text
March 3, 2020
9781421429151
9781421401423
English
280
101755
13
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
$58.00 USD, £43.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Theaters of Anatomy

Students, Teachers, and Traditions of Dissection in Renaissance Venice

Of enduring historical and contemporary interest, the anatomy theater is where students of the human body learn to isolate structures in decaying remains, scrutinize their parts, and assess their importance. Taking a new look at the history of anatomy, Cynthia Klestinec places public dissections alongside private ones to show how the anatomical theater was both a space of philosophical learning, which contributed to a deeper scientific analysis of the body, and a place where students learned to behave, not with ghoulish curiosity, but rather in a civil manner toward their teachers, their peers, and the corpse.

Klestinec argues that the drama of public dissection in the Renaissance (which on occasion included musical accompaniment) served as a ploy to attract students to anatomical study by way of anatomy’s philosophical dimensions rather than its empirical offerings. While these venues have been the focus of much scholarship, the private traditions of anatomy comprise a neglected and crucial element of anatomical inquiry. Klestinec shows that in public anatomies, amid an increasingly diverse audience—including students and professors, fishmongers and shoemakers—anatomists emphasized the conceptual framework of natural philosophy, whereas private lessons afforded novel visual experiences where students learned about dissection, observed anatomical particulars, considered surgical interventions, and eventually speculated on the mechanical properties of physiological functions.

Theaters of Anatomy focuses on the post-Vesalian era, the often-overlooked period in the history of anatomy after the famed Andreas Vesalius left the University of Padua. Drawing on the letters and testimony of Padua's medical students, Klestinec charts a new history of anatomy in the Renaissance, one that characterizes the role of the anatomy theater and reconsiders the pedagogical debates and educational structure behind human dissection.

About the Author

Cynthia Klestinec is an assistant professor of English at Miami University, Ohio.

Endorsements

"In this innovative study, Klestinec recasts the history of early modern anatomy around students, teachers, and pedagogy, rather than authors, illustrators, and publication. In the process, she not only bridges the gap between Andreas Vesalius and William Harvey, but offers a provocative and convincing description of the cultural dynamics that produced the first great anatomy theaters."

- Katharine Park, Harvard University

Reviewss

"Well-researched, interesting and enlightening. The author does a fantastic job covering the topic."

- Vicki R. - Book Bargains and Previews

"Cynthia Klestinec's Theaters of Anatomy is a scrupulous, wide-ranging, and thoughtful exploration of the staging of Renaissance anatomy. It is also a meticulous revisionary study that boldly and (for the most part) triumphantly sets out to challenge a good many of the perceived ideas surrounding the study of Renaissance dissection and anatomization."

- Jonathan Sawday - Bulletin of the History of Medicine

"This text would well serve anyone interested in the history of medicine, science studies, and theories of the body."

- Annette Burfoot - Canadian Bulletin of Medical History

"Thanks to Klestinec's clear style and focused argument, Theaters of Anatomy will be appreciated by students as well as specialist readers."

- Alexandra Bamji - Isis
Johns Hopkins University Press
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Hardback
280 Pages
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280 Pages
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