Research Programs: Summer Stipends

Period of Performance

5/1/2005 - 6/30/2005

Funding Totals

$5,000.00 (approved)
$5,000.00 (awarded)

Science and Theater: The Early Modern Cultures of Anatomy

FAIN: FT-53232-05

Cynthia Jennifer Klestinec
Georgia Tech (Atlanta, GA 30332-0001)

My project focuses on the rhetorical and theatrical underpinnings of Renaissance anatomy. Working closely with the archives in Padua and Venice, I argue that the shift from temporary to permanent anatomy theaters coincided with the development of theatrical yet philosophical demonstrations of anatomy. These demonstrations combined lectures on anatomy with musical performances; and they began to attract a range of spectators: students and professors as well as fish sellers, tailors, and shoemakers. Exploring this curious relationship between rhetoric, drama and science, my project addresses the academic study of anatomy as well as the literary and aesthetic conventions that shaped its popular reception.

Associated Products

Theaters of Anatomy: Students, Teachers and Traditions of Dissection in Renaissance Venice (Book)
Title: Theaters of Anatomy: Students, Teachers and Traditions of Dissection in Renaissance Venice
Author: Cynthia Klestinec
Abstract: Of enduring historical and contemporary interest, the anatomy theater is where students of the human body learn to isolate structures in decaying remains, scrutinize their parts, and assess their importance. Taking a new look at the history of anatomy, Cynthia Klestinec places public dissections alongside private ones to show how the anatomical theater was both a space of philosophical learning, which contributed to a deeper scientific analysis of the body, and a place where students learned to behave, not with ghoulish curiosity, but rather in a civil manner toward their teachers, their peers, and the corpse.
Year: 2011
Primary URL:
Access Model: it's a book
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Type: Single author monograph
ISBN: 9781421401423
Copy sent to NEH?: No