Advertisement

Heroic Anatomies

  • Jennifer Feather
Chapter
  • 51 Downloads
Part of the Early Modern Cultural Studies book series (EMCSS)

Abstract

In 1996, a German scientist, Dr. Gunther von Hagens, opened a display of human corpses preserved and posed to mixed responses. Over the subsequent thirteen years, these displays, which Dr. von Hagens entitled “Body Worlds,” have travelled all over the world, garnering fascination and no small degree of criticism. This criticism reached a high point in 2008–2009 when plastinated bodies, created by a different group, were displayed in the United States and Europe. The origin of the bodies used to create this exhibit were, according to authorities in China and New York, unclaimed Chinese corpses of executed prisoners.2 Gunther von Hagens’s 2009 response to these exhibitions, where he defends his exhibitions by placing himself “in the tradition of Renaissance anatomy,” both demonstrates the distinctive qualities of modern subjectivity and acknowledges its roots in Renaissance anatomy. Explicitly, it claims a positive relationship between the science of anatomy and the human rights of the individual human being. Certainly, an important body of scholarship sees a mutual relationship between the rise of anatomical science and the emergence of the autonomous humanist subject, whose development enables the nineteenth-century discourse of “human rights” to emerge.3

Keywords

Early Modern Period Modern Notion Autonomous Subject Anatomical Text Charles Versus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 3.
    Jonathan Sawday, The Body Emblazoned: Dissection and the Human Body in Renaissance Culture (New York: Routledge, 1995).Google Scholar
  2. Francis Barker, The Tremulous Private Body: Essays on Subjection (London: Methuen, 1984), esp. 69–70.Google Scholar
  3. David Hillman, Shakespeare’s Entrails (New York: Palgrave, 2007).Google Scholar
  4. Lynn Hunt, Inventing Human Rights: A History (New York: Norton, 2007), esp. 27–32.Google Scholar
  5. Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self: The Making of Modern Identity (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1989), esp. 12.Google Scholar
  6. 10.
    Barbara Donagan, “The Casualties of War: Treatment of the Dead and Wounded in the English Civil War”, in Soldiers, Writers and Statesman of the English Revolution, ed. Ian Gentles, John Morrill, and Blair Worden (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 114–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 11.
    Simone Weil, “The Iliad or the Poem of Force”, Simone Weil: An Anthology, ed. Sian Miles (New York: Grove Press, 1986).Google Scholar
  8. Elaine Scarry, The Body in Pain (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985).Google Scholar
  9. 12.
    John Lee, Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ and the Controversies of the Self (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Neil Rhodes, “Hamlet and Humanism”, Early Modern English Drama: A Critical Companion, ed. G.A. Sullivan, P.G. Cheney and A. Hadfield (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006).Google Scholar
  11. Katherine Eisman Maus, Inwardness and the English Theater in the English Renaissance (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995).Google Scholar
  12. Elizabeth Hanson, Discovering the Subject in Renaissance England (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kate Cregan, The Theatre of the Body: Staging Death and Embodying Life (Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2009).Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Katharine Park, “The Criminal and the Saintly Body: Autopsy and Dissection in Renaissance Italy”, Renaissance Quarterly 47 (1994), esp. 12.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Mark Breitenberg, Anxious Masculinities in Early Modern England (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Richard Sugg, Murder After Death: Literature and Anatomy in Early Modern England (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2007), esp. 206–211.Google Scholar
  17. 18.
    Sir Philip Sidney, A Defence of Poesy, ed. Jan van Dorsten (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 23.Google Scholar
  18. 19.
    Gail Kern Paster, The Body Embarrassed: Drama and the Disciplines of Shame in Early Modern England (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1993).Google Scholar
  19. Michael Schoenfeldt, Bodies and Selves in Early Modern England: Physiology and Inwardness in Spenser, Shakespeare, Herbert, and Milton (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999).Google Scholar
  20. 26.
    Patricia Cahill, Unto the Breach: Martial Formation, Historical Trauma, and the Early Modern Stage (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), esp. 7–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 27.
    Stephen Greenblatt, Renaissance Self-Fashioning: From More to Shakespeare (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980).Google Scholar
  22. Bruce R. Smith, Shakespeare and Masculinity (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), esp. 7–37.Google Scholar
  23. 28.
    L.R. Lind trans. The Epitome of Andreas Vesalius (Cambridge, MA: The M.I.T Press, 1949), 7.Google Scholar
  24. 36.
    Katharine Park, The Secrets of Women: Gender, Generation, and the Origins of Human Dissection (New York: Zone Books, 2006), esp. 212.Google Scholar
  25. 37.
    Jonathan Sawday, “The Fate of Marsyas: Dissecting the Renaissance Body”, Renaissance Bodies: The Human Figure in English Culture, 1540–1660, ed. Lucy Gent and Nigel Llewellyn (London: Reaktion Books, 1990).Google Scholar
  26. 39.
    Maurizio Calbi, Approximate Bodies: Gender and Power in Early Modern Drama and Anatomy (New York: Routledge, 2005).Google Scholar
  27. 42.
    Duncan P. Thomas, “Texts and Documents: Thomas Vicary and the Anatomie of Mans Bodie” Journal of Medical History 50 (2006): 235–246.Google Scholar
  28. 52.
    John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, P.H. Nidditch ed. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1975), 336–7.Google Scholar
  29. 53.
    Claire Gittings, Death, Burial, and the Individual in Early Modern England (London: Croom Helm, 1984).Google Scholar
  30. 54.
    Florike Egmond, “Execution, dissection, pain and infamy—a morphological investigation”, Bodily Extremities: Preoccupation with the Human Body in Early Modern European Culture, ed. Florike Egmond and Robert Zwijnenberg (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2003), 92–128.Google Scholar
  31. 55.
    Thomas North, Plutarch’s Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans. Englished by Sir Thomas North anno 1579, with an introduction by George Wyndham (London, 1895), 1:7.Google Scholar
  32. 63.
    William Shakespeare, The Riverside Shakespeare: The Complete Works, eds G. Blakemore Evans, et al. 2nd edition (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1997).Google Scholar
  33. 72.
    Mervyn James, English Politics and the Concept of Honour 1485–1642, (Oxford [Eng.]: Past and Present Society, 1978).Google Scholar
  34. 78.
    Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, ed. Harvey Mansfield, 2nd ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998), 101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 82.
    Rene Girard, Violence and the Sacred (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1977).Google Scholar
  36. 99.
    Nomy Arpaly, Unprincipled Virtue: An Inquiry into Moral Agency (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003), esp. 4.Google Scholar
  37. 101.
    Augustine, The City of God, (New York: Penguin Classics, 1984), 26–39.Google Scholar
  38. 103.
    Marcus Tullius Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, ed. and trans. A.E. Douglas (Chicago, Il.: Bolchazy-Carducci, 1985).Google Scholar
  39. 104.
    William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar ed. David Daniell (New York: Arden Shakespeare, 1998), p. 103.Google Scholar
  40. 105.
    Geoffrey Miles, Shakespeare and the Constant Romans (New York: Oxford, 1996), 126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 111.
    Henry Howard, “Sardanapalus”, The Poems of Henry Howard Earl of Surrey, ed. Frederick Morgan Padelford, revised edition (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1929), 93.Google Scholar
  42. 112.
    Julius Caesar: New Critical Essays, ed. Horst Zander (New York: Routledge, 2005), 271–286.Google Scholar
  43. 114.
    Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, ed. Thomas Cooley (New York: Norton, 1999), 113.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Jennifer Feather 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer Feather

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations