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Department of Anthropology

Scaling the Body - an interactive workshop

28 February 2017 10:00am in Kenworthy Hall (St Mary's College)

This workshop explored the way the body as a resource for biomedicine is thought of at different scales and what it means when there is a shift between scales. With the aid of Barrie Ormsby, a visual artist, a group of twenty participants undertook a series of exercises which reflected upon the body as partible and made up of entities [organs and tissues] that are physically isolatable, hierarchically ordered and yet dynamically interlinked. Having created a series of composite bodies the group then encountered the larger scale social and moral imaginaries that com into play when these are put into circulation.

The day was interspersed by reflections on questions of bodies and scale from Dr Liz Hallam [University of Oxford] talking about models and whole bodies in anatomy teaching in the UK, Dr Anna Maerker [Kings College London and IAS visiting fellow] who introduced the group to an earlier tradition of wax model-making for anatomy teaching and Professor Douglas Davies [Professor of Theology, Durham University] who considered a recently contrived ritual in which the families of organ donors are recognised by way of a medal from the Order of St John.

This workshop was supported by Durham University’s Institute of Advanced Study and was part Department of Anthropology’s 70/50 anniversary celebrations.