Public Lecture – Somatic Affinities: Medicine and Portraiture

Members in Melbourne may be interested in this upcoming seminar presented by Visiting Professor Ludmilla Jordanova, Emeritus Professor of History and Visual Culture at Durham University, UK, and hosted by the University of Melbourne.

When? Tuesday, June 11, 6PM

Abstract: The popularity of portraiture, especially in the English-speaking world, is well known. That medical practitioners were keen on portraits is also a familiar claim.

In this talk Professor Ludmilla Jordanova will explore the affinities between medicine and portraiture by reflecting on the notion of ‘somatic affinity’ and on the ways in which health care professionals necessarily have to make careful visual appraisals all the time.

Since ‘portrait’ is a powerful metaphor, we might say they are in the business of generating portraits. We might also plausibly claim that those who produce portraits in the literal sense are doing something that is quasi-medical. There’s a wealth of contemporary material that can be put to use here, but there is also a golden opportunity for historical research capable of making a useful contribution to the medical humanities.

For more information and tickets:

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