New visual arts course examines the anatomical body in historical texts – The Brock News


A new course open to all Brock University students will critically examine anatomical illustrations throughout history and uncover what these visual representations reveal culturally, socially and artistically.

Offered next term Spring/Summer, VISA 3V91 — Inside Out — Revealing the Anatomical Body is a new course developed and taught by Linda Carreiro, Associate Dean of Fine and Performing Arts and Professor of Visual Arts.

Based out of Brock’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA), VISA 3V91 is offered as a half course and is open to students across campus. No prior knowledge of art history or artistic skills is required to register.

Students will critically examine “flap anatomy” found in historical medical and popular texts dating back to the 1500s, in which images of layers of the body are cut open to reveal muscles, organs, and skeletal structures. Carreiro is interested in how this convention started, how it evolved and what are the implications from a socio-political point of view.

The evolution of patterns and images in historical medical texts is a research specialization for Carreiro, and she is excited to bring her knowledge and insights to Brock students.

“Some of the images and models are absolutely stunning artistically,” she says, “but these devices convey so much more than how the anatomical structures fit together.”

Carreiro says it’s important to consider who ended up on the dissecting table in order to create these images, and what those images might reveal about that particular context.

“Looking at pictures of public dissection theaters and profiles of anatomists can provide some of that information,” she says.

Students can expect to engage in critical reading, discussion, and writing, with the opportunity to engage in studio work. Students must have a minimum of 5.0 overall credits and a minimum overall average of 60% or permission from the instructor to enroll in the course.

Registration for Spring/Summer classes is now open through the Admissions website.


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