Composing and Decomposing Bodies: Visualizing Death and Disease in an Era of Global War, Pestilence, and Famine, 1913–1923

Part of the Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in Modern History book series (MBSMH)


This chapter explores conflict, crisis, and contagion as well as mass death at a time when dramatic new methods were being used to record this. Advancing imaging technologies were developing as part of a visual regime of capture, counting, and containment joining popular culture, state bureaucracy, scientific, and medical research practices. The capturing and viewing of images is presented as a means of integrating the study of the embodied physical and cultural. A primary examination of World War I, 1914–1918, with some discussion of its relevance to the Spanish flu, 1918, and the Povolzhye famine, 1921–1923, foreground discussion of present-day remembrance of the dead and the exhumation of bodies for scientific and historical study.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Salve Regina UniversityNewportUSA

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