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Drawn to health: Bodies and medicine in popular visual culture

By September 21, 2022September 16th, 2023No Comments

By Anna Opryszko

“Drawn to Health: Bodies and Medicine in Popular Visual Culture,” a new exhibit at the Wangensteen Historical Library of Biology and Medicine, explores the historical and contemporary use of visual narratives to communicate about health. This exhibit uses the collections held at both the Wangensteen and the Children’s Literature Research Collections (CLRC).

A close-up from an 1862 hand-colored Japanese woodblock print. In the foreground is a demon representing measles; in the background is a fearful physician.

Hashika okuridashi no zu. Wangensteen Historical Library Flat WC H348 1862

About the exhibit

What: Drawn to health: Bodies and medicine in popular visual culture
When: September 12, 2022 – December 29, 2022
Where: Wangensteen Historical Library, 2-340 Phillips-Wangensteen Building (PWB) second floor concourse
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30am-4:30pm, free and open to the public; masks required, as the Wangensteen is located within the Health Sciences complex of the U of MN campus.

Graphic medicine has been defined as the intersection between the medium of comics and the discourse of healthcare. In the last fifteen years, graphic medicine and the health humanities have provided new opportunities to study the expressions and experiences of patients and health professionals. “Drawn to Health ” explores the historical underpinnings of graphic medicine, and considers other ways that visual narratives have been used to educate about health and medicine. Using comics from the CLRC’s Borger Collection, the exhibit also draws out health-related themes from classic superhero comic books, linking them to materials held at the Wangensteen.

You can find full citations and catalog links to the volumes used in the exhibit by looking at the exhibit bibliography.

Anna Opryszko

Author Anna Opryszko

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