Visual Cultures of Medicine

Course Offered In: Spring 2019

Mondays and Wednesdays

11:45 AM – 1:00 PM

Contemporary medicine trades in images: the anatomical atlas, radiographic X-rays, PET, MRI and CT scans, electrocardiograms, fetal sonograms, and endoscopic exploration of the human viscera, to name just a few. This course explores the diverse visual cultures of medicine, with a particular focus on the changing role of diagnostic visuality and imaging in contemporary medical practices, as seen from various philosophical, historical and disciplinary perspectives.

Of primary interest will be consideration of what might be considered the specificities of the medical gaze — medical ways of seeing — and the connections between these professional ways of seeing and popular modes of visuality, such as photography, cinema, television, and computer graphics and gaming. How does the visual culture of medicine “bleed” into popular culture and the public’s imagination, and vice versa?

Course Taught by Mark Olson and Jules Odendahl-James

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