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Teaching with Primary Sources: Gender and Anatomy


In this activity, you will work in small groups or pairs to select an image and complete a short worksheet that will help provide guidance in critical analysis. This activity can be applied to synchronous (i.e., Zoom session with breakout rooms) or asynchronous (i.e., discussion posted on online forum) class sessions.

  • Select an item available here or use the image assigned by your instructor. If your class is large, more than one group can work with an item. Each group will bring different perspectives to the analysis!
  • Next, work with your group or partner to analyze the image using the Image Analysis worksheet as a guide. Take notes as you work - this will be helpful later! You may not be able to answer every question but do your best to make an educated guess.
  • Each group will share what they learned about their image with the class. This can be done by an informal report at the end of a Zoom session or through an online discussion post.
  • After each group has shared, come together as a class to discuss any common themes or shared questions. Ask questions of others. And use the discussion questions below as a starting point for a larger discussion. 

Discussion Questions

  • What’s your initial response upon seeing this image?
  • Have you seen similar images in other contexts or time periods?
  • What does the image leave out?
  • How do you think such an image would have been used in teaching medical students?