Committee for the Study of Books and Media - "The Politics of Reproduction: A Reception History of Andreas Vesalius' De humani corporis fabrica"
"The Politics of Reproduction: A Reception History of Andreas Vesalius' De humani corporis fabrica"
Daniel Margocsy, Hunter College
McCosh Hall, Room 40
Andreas Vesalius' De humani corporis fabrica (Basel: Oporinus, 1543) has been hailed as the foundational work of modern anatomy. This talk reports on the worldwide census of the 1543 and 1555 folio editions of Fabrica. It aims to reconstruct how these editions of the Fabrica have circulated for the past 475 years, and how they were annotated and handled by early modern (and modern) readers. It argues that Western political structures had a strong influence on how Vesalius' work has been interpreted. In the sixteenth century, the Fabrica became a tool in the hands of humanist physicians for maintaining social order and existing gender structures, and it has frequently occupied a similar role ever since.
Dániel Margócsy is assistant professor of early modern European history (PhD Harvard, 2009). His work focuses on the impact of global trade on cultural production in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. His research has explored how commercial networks played a crucial role in the growth and transmission of empirical knowledge; and how secrecy and marketing transformed the public sphere and the Republic of Letters. His first book, Commercial Visions: Science, Trade and Visual Culture in the Dutch Golden Age (University of Chicago Press, 2014). His articles on the development of taxonomy, the visual culture of early modern anatomy and natural history, and the aesthetics of curiosities have appeared in Annals of Science, the British Journal for the History of Science, the Journal of the History of Ideas, the Netherlands Yearbook of Art History, and The Lancet. He has co-edited States of Secrecy, a special issue of the British Journal for the History of Science, and he is currently co-editing another issue on Breaking Scientific Networks. He was the 2012–2013 Birkelund fellow at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, and the 2014 recipient of the Feliks Gross Endowment Award of CUNY.