From the Curator of Museum Services at the University of Dundee :
The University’s annual Culture Day is a stimulating mix of talks and presentations across a wide-range of subjects united by a common theme.
This year we are pleased to be part of the new Festival of the Future and we’ll be exploring the body, marking 200 years since the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and 130 years since the first Professor of Anatomy was appointed in Dundee.
Feel free to come to as much of the event as you like. Admission is free and booking is not essential, but for catering purposes it would help if you could reserve a place via Eventbrite here.
1.30pm – Welcome
1.45pm – Keith Williams (English, School of Humanities) – Reanimating Bodies: the Frankenstein Theme in Early film
As an ‘electrical’ medium which brought still photographic images of bodies to life, early film became quickly associated with themes of bodysnatching, duplication and artificial reanimation. This talk examines the reasons why adaptations of Mary Shelley’s novel and related narratives became a kind of self-reflexive commentary on the apparently uncanny potentials of the new medium to reanimate both the living and the dead.
2.00pm – Caroline Brown (Archive Services) – Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
Using the theme of the body this talk uncovers some of the fascinating stories found in the University Archives. Pioneering experiments and discoveries, disease and health, art and fashion – all are explored through the medium of the human form.
2.15pm – Peter Amoore & Joanna Helfer (Exhibitions, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design) – A Body of Art
Cooper Gallery, DJCAD presents a talk on the ways in which the idea of ‘The Body’ is represented, discussed and questioned by artists, writers and thinkers within our recent programme. Considering which bodies we mean when we talk about ‘The Body’, we will show clips of film, discuss artworks and quotations that challenge socially normative ideas of the bodies.
2.30pm – Claire Cunningham (CAHID, School of Science & Engineering) – Our Silent Teachers: Body donation at the University of Dundee
Claire will discuss the process by which members of the public make the ultimate donation to the University, gifting their bodies for anatomical and medical students to learn from.
2.45pm – Break for refreshments
3.05pm – Matthew Jarron (Museum Services) – The Body Beautiful: Art and Anatomy
Dundee is now renowned for its unique Medical Art postgraduate course, but the University began bringing together art and anatomy from the beginning, thanks to the artistic interests of the first Cox Professor of Anatomy, Andrew Melville Paterson. This presentation will look at some of these early connections, as well as the beautifully created models, charts and other teaching aids used in the Anatomy department.
3.20pm – Allan Kennedy (History, School of Humanities) – The Body Brutalised: Torture in Scottish History
One of the most elemental facts about of the human body is that it is capable of feeling pain. This talk looks at the nature and uses of judicial torture in Scotland’s past. Focusing particularly on the early modern period (c.1500-c.1700), we will explore when and why torture was used by the Scottish authorities, before delving – in grizzly detail – into the precise techniques visited upon those unfortunate enough to come face-to-face with a torturer.
3.35pm – Diana Swales (CAHID, School of Science & Engineering) – The Stories Bodies Tell: Archaeological Narratives
Human remains from archaeological contexts and their treatment in death provide clues about the lives people led and the socio-cultural relationships of the living. This talk covers the osteobiographies of archaeological human remains including theories and case studies.
3.50 – Break
4.15pm – Neil Paterson (Botanic Garden) – From the Metamorphosis of Plants to the Origin of Species: Goethe, Darwin and the Development of the Plant Body
Goethe, the author of Faust, is the towering German literary figure. But he also saw himself as a scientist and put forward ideas on plant form which prefigure yet clash with the concepts of modern botany, informed by the insights of Darwinian evolutionary thought.
4.30pm – Chris Murray (English, School of Humanities) – Frankenstein and Comics
This illustrated talk will explore the many adaptations of Frankenstein in comics and graphic novels, with a special emphasis on comics responding to the novel produced by creators associated with the Scottish Centre for Comics Studies and Dundee Comics Creative Space.
4.45pm – Graeme Stevenson (Music) – A Body of Music
The “heart” and “eyes” are frequently mentioned in love songs but there’s a long history of anatomical references in music. Graeme will talk about and play some examples of these works including music by Buxtehude and Marin Marais.
5pm – Finish