Explorations in the Medical Humanities

Explorations in the Medical Humanities: The Whiteness of Bones

Monday, September 11, 2017  6:00pm - 7:30pm Second Floor Common Room


Arden Hegele

Carmel Raz

Heidi Hausse

Lan Li

Full title: The Whiteness of Bones: the Emergence of the Human Skeleton as a Commodity, 1500-1800

As a set of disciplines, the humanities face the challenge of how to write about embodied experiences that resist easy verbal categorization such as illness, pain, and healing. The recent emergence of interdisciplinary frameworks such as narrative medicine goes some way to address these challenges. Yet conceptualizing a field of medical humanities also offers a broader umbrella under which to study the influence of medico-scientific ideas and practices on society.  Whether by incorporating material culture such as medical artefacts, performing symptomatic readings of poems and novels, or excavating the implicit medical assumptions underlying auditory cultures, the approaches that emerge from a historiographical or interpretive framework are different from those coming from the physician’s black bag.


  • Speaker

    Anita Guerrini

    Horning Professor in the Humanities and Professor of History

    Oregon Statue University

  • Respondent

    Pamela H. Smith

    Seth Low Professor of History

    Columbia University


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