Traces of the body: Anatomical knowledge production and translation in 21st century anatomy training
Rachel Allison (Maastricht university)
Paper short abstract:
This paper considers the affective, aesthetic, and atmospheric qualities of anatomy education, exploring how material and sensory traces might be implicated in embodied, imaginative, and multisensory anatomical knowledge produced by, and translated between, medical educators and novice physicians.
Paper long abstract:
This paper considers how the affective, aesthetic, and atmospheric qualities of Semmelweis University's Department of Anatomy, Histology, and Embryology might be implicated in the anatomical knowledge produced by, and translated between, medical educators and novice physicians at Semmelweis University—calling into question what this might mean for our understanding of the link between practice, imagination, and knowledge, within 21st century medical education. More specifically, this paper will draw upon historical traces which reside in the 19th century building's material and sensory environment, emphasising the way in which these specific, and often elusive, qualities contribute to an anatomy education rooted in embodied, imaginative, and multisensory knowledge of, and through, the body. I contend that this type of knowledge translation is one which ultimately imparts a specific and bodily anatomical knowledge—a knowledge that might be understood as a form of 'orientation in place'. The paper will consider particular physical remnants found within the anatomy building, including anatomical oil paintings, museum specimens and models, cadavers, and chalkboard drawings. In so doing, the building's specific structure and environment will also be implicated, including the material aspects and layout of the lecture theatre, and the aesthetic and sensory dimensions of the dissection wing. I propose that by exploring this kind of medical knowledge translation, we might consider different (and embodied) futures of the (oft-considered) 'theoretical' components of medical education. This paper draws on ethnographic fieldwork conducted during the 2017/2018 academic year at Semmelweis University's Department of Anatomy, Histology, and Embryology, in Budapest, Hungary.
Knowing Historical Traces, Eliciting Possible Futures