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36th Historia Medica Lecture - Cultural Meanings of the Dwarf Body

Speaker: Sara van den Berg, Ph.D
Lecture Title: Cultural Meanings of the Dwarf Body
Location: Bernard Becker Medical Library, King Center, 7th floor
Time: Thursday, February 27, 2014, 4:30 pm

A free lecture supported by the Becker Library and the Center for History of Medicine

The Dwarf Sebastian de Morra by Diego VelazquezDwarfs have been popular objects in art, literature, and society since the Renaissance, but their bodies have had different symbolic meanings over the centuries.  This lecture will explore those meanings, and how they affected the social role and personal experiences of dwarfs.  Older meanings endure even as the medicalization of dwarfism has developed from measurement and observation to surgery, hormone treatment, and genetics.

Sara van den Berg will present the 36th Historia Medica lecture "Cultural Meanings of the Dwarf Body" on Thursday, February 27, 2014, at 4:30 pm.  Her research and teaching focus on three areas:  Seventeenth-Century English Literature, especially the works of Ben Jonson and John Milton; Disability Studies, with special emphasis on the cultural meanings of disability; and Medical Humanities, with special emphasis on the problem of pain. 

Professor van den Berg received her B.A. summa cum laude from the University of Minnesota, and her M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. from Yale University.  She presently teaches in Saint Louis University’s Department of English.

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