Early modern flap anatomies : pedagogical, aesthetic, and scientific reverberations

Tiffany HOLMES

School of Art and Design, Michigan Society of Fellows, University of Michigan, 2000 Bonisteel Boulevard, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
Tel. 734-6479793


This paper will investigate the pedagogical, aesthetic, and scientific dimensions of early modern anatomical studies. It will explore in particular, how the process of dissection became an interdisciplinary forum for the exploration and unveiling of the mysteries of the corporeal interior. Early modern flap anatomies promoted a very specific reading of the human body ; this paper will argue that early collaborations between artists and scientists ultimately advanced hierarchal systems of representation in both art and science with regard to the depiction of the human form.

The paper will also explore how contemporary "skewed" pedagogical paradigms in the sciences can be linked to early modern economies of corporeal representation starting with those of Leonardo da Vinci. Focusing largely on the process of dissection as one that engages both artists and scientists, the paper attempts to align the gestural actions of slicing, probing, and pinning with the cognitive actions of identifying, abstracting, and naming. Throughout the text, I will draw on my experience as an artist to promote my investigation of flap anatomies as an instigator of hierarchal systems of corporeal classification.


Panel 7A   (Nervous Fluids and Innards in Early Modern Physiology and Culture)
Friday, 17 September 1999

The Neurosciences and Psychiatry: Crossing the Boundaries

Joint Congress of the European Association for the History of Psychiatry (EAHP), the European Club for the History of Neurology (ECHN), and the International Society for the History of the Neurosciences (ISHN)

Zurich and Lausanne, Switzerland, 13-18 September 1999