Activity 1. Bodies of Knowledge

Bodies of Memory and Experience

Draw a chart of your body, based on what you know about it. Use drawings, symbols and text to include as many details as you can. Compare and discuss your body chart with the rest of the group. How does your chart compare with others and how accurate does it appear to be? Where does you knowledge come from? Would you expect knowledge and understanding of the body to differ across age, gender, experience, and culture?

Bodies of Research and Action

Now, return to your drawing of the body and add further details, but this time, by observing it closely through movement and touch. Can your feel your way into knowing how the bones in your fingers look? Does bending your knee or feeling the pulse on your wrist tell you anything valuable about how the bits of the body are connected and they how work? You can team up with others to develop and test new methods for producing an image of the body that is as accurate as possible. What are the benefits, if any, of working collectively?

Bodies of Science

Test the accuracy of your individual or collective body charts against the anatomical studies made by Andreas Vesalius . Discuss the implications for understanding the body without being able to see inside it? How would you describe the knowledge and understanding you gain? Think about the plight of anatomists in history when human dissection was banned on religious grounds, and consider if there are cases where scientific desire and advance may not be the same as human interest and progress?