Bodies Beyond Borders

Moving Anatomies, 1750–1950

Kaat Wils (Editor), Raf De Bont (Editor), Sokhieng Au (Editor),

Category: Diversity and Equity Studies, History, History 1800-present, Media and Visual Culture, Postcolonial Studies

Language: English

ISBN: 9789462700949

Publication date: March 27, 2017

€59.50 (including 6% VAT)

Buy Now

Number of pages: 304

Size: 230 x 170 x mm

Number of illustrations: 51

Illustrations and other content description:
35 b&w , 16 colour illustrations Guaranteed Peer Reviewed Content

Stock item: 115001

Standard delivery time for print books:

For Belgium: 5 to 8 working days

For EU: 2 to 3 weeks

For other countries: 4 to 5 weeks


The human body in scientific and artistic representations. Around 1800 anatomy as a discipline rose to scientific prominence as it undergirded the Paris-centred clinical revolution in medicine. Although classical anatomy gradually lost ground in the following centuries in favor of new disciplines based on microscopic analysis, general anatomy nevertheless remained pivotal in the teaching of medicine. Corpses, anatomical preparations, models, and drawings were used more intensively than ever before. Moreover, anatomy received new forms of public visibility. Through public exhibitions and lectures in museums and fairgrounds, anatomy became part of general education and secured a place in popular imagination. As such, the anatomical body developed into a production site for racial, gender, and class identities. Both within the medical and the public sphere, art and science continued to be closely intertwined in anatomical representations of the body.

Bodies Beyond Borders analyzes the notion of circulation in anatomy. Following anatomy through different locations and cultural domains permits a deeper understanding of its history and its changing place in society. The essays in this collection focus on a wide variety of circulating ideas and objects, ranging from models and body parts to illustrations and texts. Together, the essays enable rethinking the relations between metropolis and colony, university and fairground, and scientific and artistic representations of the human body.

This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content).

Contributors: Sokhieng Au (KU Leuven), Margaret Carlyle (University of Minnesota), Tinne Claes (KU Leuven), Veronique Deblon (KU Leuven), Raf De Bont (Maastricht University), Stephen C. Kenny (University of Liverpool), Helen MacDonald (University of Melbourne), Natasha Ruiz-Gómez (University of Essex), Kim Sawchuk (Concordia University), Naomi Slipp (Auburn University-Montgomery), Joris Vandendriessche (KU Leuven), Kaat Wils (KU Leuven)

Introduction: Moving Anatomies, 1750-;1950 Sokhieng Au, Raf de Bont, Kaat Wils
Artisans, Patrons, and Enlightenment: The Circulation of Anatomical Knowledge in Paris, St. Petersburg, and London Margaret Carlyle
Anatomy and Sociability in Nineteenth-Century Belgium Joris Vandendriessche
Corpse Stories: Anatomy, Bodies and a Colonial World Helen MacDonald
Anatomical Collecting and Tropical Medicine in the Belgian Congo Sokhieng Au
Imitating Anatomy: Recycling Anatomical Illustrations in Nineteenth-Century Atlases Veronique Deblon
Alternative Anatomy: The Popular Lectures of Constant Crommelinck in Brussels (1850-;1880) Tinne Claes
“Specimens Calculated to Shock the Soundest Sleeper”: Deep Layers of Anatomical Racism Circulated On-Board the Louisiana Health Exhibit Train Stephen C. Kenny
International Anatomies: Teaching Visual Literacy in the Harvard Lecture Hall Naomi Slipp
Shaking the Tyranny of the Cadaver: Doctor Paul Richer and the “Living Écorché” Natasha Ruiz-Gómez
Animating the Anatomical Specimen: Textbook Anatomy and the Incorporation of Photography in JCB Grant’s “An Atlas of Anatomy” Kim Sawchuk
About the authors Gallery with color plates

Kaat Wils

Kaat Wils is professor of European cultural history since 1750 at KU Leuven.

Raf De Bont

Raf de Bont is lecturer at the History Department of Maastricht University.

Sokhieng Au

Sokhieng Au is programme staff in the Analysis and Advocacy unit of Médecins Sans Frontières and a research fellow in history at KU Leuven.

'aan te raden voor geïnteresseerden in de geschiedenis van medische wetenschappen, materialiteit en wetenschappelijke personae. De platen achter in het boek zijn prachtig.'
Fenneke Sysling, Studium 10/2 (2017)

No hay duda del asiento que tienen todos los capítulos en la transformación historiográfica operada en las últimas décadas dando centralidad al marco analítico proporcionado por la cultura material, los estudios visuales, el giro espacial o los museum studies. El resultado final, estructurado en tres ámbitos, pone de manifiesto una rica variedad de situaciones y significados, que ocurren en la medida en que se produce el desplazamiento o la intersección de lo anatómico. [...] El libro resultará útil a quien entre en estos ámbitos que ponen en jaque planteamientos dicotómicos, pues los estudios se fundamentan en lenguajes y recursos transdisciplinares y aportan además un enorme y actualizado aparato crítico. Alfons Zarzoso, Dynamis 2018; 38 (2): 505-540

With movement as a common thread among the papers, the editors draw out multiple facets of anatomy and anatomical objects as they permeated and transformed along with medical heritage and education.
Tricia Close-Koenig, ISIS—Volume 110, Number 1, March 2019

This is a successful and thought-provoking collection, relying on recent historiography, and extensively illustrated – including several color plates.Domenico Bertoloni Meli, Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Volume 74, Issue 2, April 2019, Pages 221–223,

Related titles