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Teaching with Primary Sources: Gender and Anatomy

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Rachel Ingold
History of Medicine Collections
Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library


In studying the history of medicine, we learn how medicine is a social construct and how medical education reflects certain views in a culture and society. The representation of women in Western anatomical and medical textbooks from the past to today has at times included provocative or unsettling imagery. This session encourages you to explore and engage with visual representations of gender in the history of medicine through critical analysis and discussion using primary sources.

Learning Objectives

•    Engage with visual literacy (see Visual Literacy LibGuide)
•    Examine and evaluate images and texts using primary sources
•    Discuss the author (creator), audience, and intended purpose of historical materials
•    Develop understanding of how gender has historically and continues to impact health and medicine


Ivory Anatomical Manikin