Thursday, October 30, 2014


It's the incredible day that can't be contained in one blog post! So here we are for Part 2! (Yes, it took awhile, but waiting builds discipline.)

For the rest of my Vesalius 500 day I attended some excellent panels, and took my sketchbook. Good luck reading my writing! Good luck reading my drawing! If you are looking for some form of linear narrative, you are screwed. I usually start drawing in the upper left corner, work my way in pseudo left-to-right rows down the page, and then start cramming additional comments and illustrations up the right side. Eventually I just put anything extra wherever it will fit and create relationships that may not have been discussed in the presentation. Despite all that, I find other people's sketchbooks interesting. Here are my pages...

MK Czerwiec and Ian Williams gave a presentation about Graphic Medicine (comics with medical/patient/caregiver themes) and its evolution as a website, a transformative and creative practice, a teaching tool, and their personal relationships to comics and medicine.

Lisa Rosner, author of The Anatomy Murders, spoke about her discoveries in researching the lives of the notorious Burke and Hare and their victims. She described the culture of 1830's medical education, the premium on bodies for dissection, and the method by which B and H killed their victims. Then she went on to describe the ways in which the press misdirected the general public in their understanding of who their victims were, as in Mary Patterson was NOT a prostitute. For some reason I've been interested in the circumstances leading up to the Anatomy Act of 1832 so this was a "treat" (if such things are treats!)

Alice Dreger spoke about Fascinomas, pathologies or conditions that evoke fascination in the medical community. She also talked about the evolution of medical representation, the myriad messages behind anonymizing patient photographs, and towards the end rocked my world with a dismissal of the feminist dismissal of Vesalius' illustration of a vagina. Kudos, Alice! 

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