From Heumann Heilmittel, “Eine Reise durch den menschlichen Körper” (1941)
Body Voyaging: an illustrated lecture with Kristen Ann Ehrenberger
Date: TONIGHT, Monday, January 17th
Time: 8:00 PM
Presented by Morbid Anatomy
We human beings have a seemingly insatiable desire to experience the bodies underneath our skins. While many scholars have treated the subject of looking into or through bodies via medical imaging, one perhaps understudied trope is that of “body voyaging.” A few writers and artists have imagined what it would be like to travel inside a body, to be a searching body in a body as landscape. This presentation will use images and text from a few more and less well-known 20th and 21st-century “fantastic voyages” to ask questions like, Is the purpose of such “biotourism” to make these spaces foreign or familiar? What kinds of relationships between our bodies and ourselves are being promoted? And perhaps most pressing of all, could you really do that?
Bio: Kristen Ann Ehrenberger is a Doctoral Candidate in History and a Third-Year Medical Student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her primary research interests lie in the creation and circulation of scientific and medical knowledge in professional and lay communities, but she has also used her interdisciplinary proclivities to develop a theory of memory consolidation with some neuroscientists and an anthropologist (MIT Press, forthcoming). She is currently living in Dresden and researching her Dissertation, “The Politics of the Table: Nutrition and the Volkskörper in Saxon Germany, 1900-1933″ with the support of a Travel Grant from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). She is thrilled Observatory has given her the opportunity to try out this project on an audience of the enthusiastic and curious.