Glass Wombs and Paper Fetuses: Representing the Female Reproductive Body in France, Britain, and the United States, 1880–1900

Glass Wombs and Paper Fetuses: Representing the Female Reproductive Body in France, Britain, and the United States, 1880–1900

18 June 2019

Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow

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  • Glasgow History of Medicine Seminar

    In partnership with The Institute of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Glasgow.

    Tea/coffee from 5pm. Lecture begins at 5:30pm.

    Focusing on the late 19th century, Dr. Jessica M. Dandona investigates how physicians in three centres of medical training — Paris, Edinburgh, and Philadelphia — conceptualised the female reproductive body in visual terms. Created during a time of growing interest in public health and widespread anxiety over high rates of infant mortality, these representations define the female anatomical body as youthful, fertile, and above all productive: the female body is, without exception, a pregnant body. Dr. Dandona will compare conventional modes of representing the maternal form, such as wax models and engravings, with fin-de-siècle bodily simulacra—colorful flap anatomies, paper ‘manikins,’ stereoscopic photographs, and early radiographs that, like earlier forms of imaging the pregnant body, circulated across national and disciplinary borders. Common to all of these images and objects, she will argue, was a desire for transparency that sought to open the female reproductive body to the medical gaze in order to reveal the ‘truth’ of its hidden ‘secrets.’ This fascination with the penetration and mapping of the maternal body, she will show, parallels and even foregrounds developments in the material practice of medicine, including the increasing use of surgical procedures such Cesearean section.

    Jessica M. Dandona, Ph.D. is an art historian and a 2018–19 Fulbright Scholar based at the University of Dundee.

    Suitable for:

    • Public
  • 18 June
    17:00-17:30

    Tea/coffee

    18 June
    17:30-19:00

    Lecture

    Jessica M. Dandona

  • Category Product Amount
    Member Registrations £0
    Non-Member Registrations £0
  • Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow

Closing date: 18 June 2019


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