Participants: Art, Anatomy, and the Body: Vesalius 500

 This event was held on October 18, 2014.

Eva ÅhrénEva Åhrén
Eva Åhrén is director of the Hagströmer Medico-Historical Library and Unit for Medical History and Heritage at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. Her research deals mainly with visual communication in nineteenth-century anatomy and pathology, including specimens and models in medical museums. Åhrén received her PhD in the program of health and society at Linköping University in Sweden in 2002. She has held positions as head of research at the Nobel Museum in Stockholm and research fellow at Uppsala University and at the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Åhrén is the author of the widely acclaimed Death, Modernity, and the Body: Sweden 1870–1940 (Rochester, 2009), a book about changing attitudes toward death and the cadaver in medicine, funerary practice, and popular culture.

Steven AssaelSteven Assael
Steven Assael was born in New York City in 1957. A graduate of Pratt Institute, he focuses his work on the human figure, individually and in groups. Assael balances naturalism with a romanticism that permeates the figures and surroundings of his paintings and drawings. His figures are modeled in glowing relief by gentle beams of warm and cool light. From October 2010 to January 2011, Steven Assael’s work was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Naples Museum of Art in Florida. A retrospective exhibition was held at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle in 1999. Solo exhibitions of works by Steven Assael have also been featured at the Cress Gallery of Art at the University of Tennessee, Lowe Gallery (Atlanta, GA) and Ann Nathan Gallery (Chicago, IL). His work has been exhibited at The Arkansas Arts Center, The New York Academy of Art, and The Arnot Art Museum (Elmira, NY), and is in the permanent collections of The Hunter Museum of Art (Chatanooga, TN), The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art & Design (Kansas City, MO), The Columbus Museum of Art (GA), and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City). Steven Assael joined Forum Gallery in 1998. He will be exhibiting new paintings and drawings in a solo exhibition at Forum Gallery from April 16 to May 29, 2015.

MK CzerwiecMK Czerwiec
MK Czerwiec is the artist-in-residence at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine. She holds a BA in English and philosophy, a BSN in nursing, an MA in medical humanities and bioethics, and she has clinical experience in AIDS and hospice care. Czerwiec has made comics under the pseudonym Comic Nurse since 2000. She co-runs with Dr. Ian Williams and has pioneered the graphic narrative as a means of healthcare reflection and education, using comics to explore the depiction of the body and discover how the medium can contribute to the bank of images that inform cultural conceptions of health and illness. Her first graphic novel, Taking Turns: A Careography, is forthcoming.

Marie Dauenheimer
DaumenheimerMarie Dauenheimer is a board-certified medical illustrator working in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. She creates medical illustrations and animations for interactive media, websites, apps, and publications. Marie received her master’s degree in medical and biological illustration from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where she was introduced to the carbon dust technique. In addition to maintaining a successful medical illustration business, Marie organizes educational travel opportunities through the Vesalius Trust. These “Art and Anatomy Tours” to Europe offer the chance to study the vast history of art and anatomy by visiting dissecting theatres, anatomy museums, anatomical wax collections, and art collections.

Alice DregerAlice Dreger, PhD
Alice Dreger is a historian of medicine and science, a sex researcher, a mainstream writer, and an (im)patient advocate. An award-winning scholar and writer, Dreger is professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. Since earning her PhD in history and philosophy of science from Indiana University, Dreger has published Hermaphrodites and the Medical Invention of Sex and One of Us: Conjoined Twins and the Future of Normal. Her newest book, Galileo’s Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and the Search for Justice in Science, based on work supported by a Guggenheim Fellowship, is forthcoming from Penguin Books in 2015. Dreger has also served as a patient advocate and as a consultant to pediatric specialists undertaking clinical reform, particularly in the treatment of children born with norm-challenging body types, including intersex, conjoined twinning, facial anomalies, and short stature.

Samuel Strong Dunlap, PhD
DunlapSamuel Strong Dunlap traces his interest in Charles Willson Peale to his frequent use of museum collections in his research as well as his descendant relationship through Peale’s eldest son, Raphaelle. His areas of interest include early human evolution, musculoskeletal anatomy of primates, forensics, and Darwin studies. He teaches anthropology at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale. Following a postdoctoral fellowship in the Anatomy Department of Howard University College of Medicine, Dr. Dunlap has recently returned to anatomical research, dissecting human, ape, monkey, and opossum limbs. He is also engaged in an analysis of the New York school artist Mark Rothko’s signature work. His wife, Marie Dauenheimer, joins him in this study, which will provide a scientific anthropological explanation for the universal sublime/spiritual experience that Rothko sought.

Dima-ElissaDima Elissa
Dima Elissa, a serial entrepreneur, is president and CEO of VisualMedia and co-founder of ProofX, a leader in 3D Biomedical Printing, a technology that is redefining standards for patient care by improving access to personalized medicine. Elissa is dedicated to providing start-up experience and leadership to women founders and entrepreneurs, and as a faculty member she teaches entrepreneurship at the Associated Colleges of the Midwest in Chicago. She serves as a board member for domestic and international community-based organizations and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and she participates on the STEM Steering committee for the Aparecío Foundation, an organization focused on education and mentoring for low-income, high-potential young women in public high schools. Elissa holds a BA in chemistry from Hanover College and an MBA from the Mays School of Business at Texas A&M with a concentration in finance. She is a member of the board of trustees for Hanover College.

Ann Fox Head ShotAnn Fox, PhD
As professor of English at Davidson College, Ann Fox specializes in modern and contemporary dramatic literature and disability studies. Her scholarship on disability and theater has been supported by an AAUW postdoctoral fellowship and published in Legacy, Contemporary Theatre Review, the National Women’s Studies Association Journal, Gendering Disability, The Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies, and Disability Studies Quarterly. She has served on the executive board of the Society for Disability Studies and the MLA Executive Committee of the Division on Disability Studies. Her current book project traces the representation of disability on the twentieth-century commercial stage. In 2009 with Jessica Cooley she curated two disability-related visual arts exhibitions at Davidson College: Re/Formations: Disability, Women, and Sculpture and Staring. In autumn 2014 Fox and Davidson College Professor of Biology David Wessner will curate the exhibition Re/Presenting HIV/AIDS and lead a course on “Representations of HIV/AIDS” through edX.

Garrison head shotDaniel Garrison, PhD
Daniel Garrison is the translator of the 2013 English-language edition of Andreas Vesalius’s De humani corporis fabrica. Until the early 1990s, he taught Greek and Roman history and literature, publishing books on the Hellenistic love epigram, Virgil, Horace, Catullus, and Greek sexual culture. He also took time to write Who’s Who in Wodehouse. Beginning his research with “Andreas Vesalius on the Larynx and Hyoid Bone” (with M. H. Hast), he went on to concentrate on translating and annotating Vesalius’s De humani corporis fabrica (1543, 1555), published October 2013 in two volumes by Karger Publishers in Basel. This was followed by Vesalius: The China Root Epistle, scheduled for release in in October 2014 from Cambridge University Press.

Tiffany GeigelTiffany Geigel
Tiffany Geigel is a native New Yorker, born and raised in Brooklyn. She received her bachelor’s degree from Hunter College, where she studied dance and stage management. She started dancing at the age of five with Rita Hamilton and danced with Julie Ann Miranda at Dance Universal Dance Academy. Her styles are ballet, tap, jazz, salsa, Bollywood, hip hop, and contemporary. She has taught dance classes for students aged five to eighteen. She has also stage managed many Off-Broadway and professional dance shows. Tiffany also teaches dance at Dance Universal Dance Academy in Brooklyn. In 2009 she appeared in season five of the television show “So You Think You Can Dance,” and she is thrilled to dance and work with Heidi Latsky.

Sander GilmanSander Gilman, PhD
Sander L. Gilman is a distinguished professor of the liberal arts and sciences as well as professor of psychiatry at Emory University. A cultural and literary historian, he is the author or editor of more than eighty books. His Illness and Image: Case Studies in the Medical Humanities was published in September 2014; his most recent edited volume, The Third Reich Sourcebook (with Anson Rabinbach) was published in 2013. Other books include Seeing the Insane (1982, reprinted 1996) and Jewish Self-Hatred (1986). For twenty-five years he was a member of the humanities and medical faculties at Cornell University, where he held the Goldwin Smith Professorship of Humane Studies. For six years he held the Henry R. Luce Distinguished Service Professorship of the Liberal Arts in Human Biology at the University of Chicago and for four years was a distinguished professor of the liberal arts and medicine and creator of the Humanities Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

HayesBill Hayes
The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in nonfiction (2013–14), Bill Hayes is a frequent contributor to The New York Times and the author of three books: Sleep Demons: An Insomniac’s Memoir; Five Quarts: A Personal and Natural History of Blood; and The Anatomist: A True Story of Gray’s Anatomy. He is currently at work on two new books, both to be published by Bloomsbury USA/UK: Sweat: A History of Exercise, and Insomniac City, a collection of his essays about New York. Along with the Guggenheim, he was recently awarded a grant from the Leon Levy Foundation. Hayes has served as a guest lecturer at Stanford, NYU, UCSF, and at the Bay Area History of Medicine Club, and he has taught writing workshops at UCSF Medical School and The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis.

Chase Joynt is a Toronto-based filmmaker, performer, and writer. Recently awarded the EP Canada/Canada Film Capital Award for Emerging Canadian Artist and 3 Jury Awards, Joynt’s films Akin and I’m Yours are currently being screened internationally. Most recently, Joynt starred as Mars Brito, the lead character in John Greyson’s Murder in Passing, widely regarded as the most ambitious transmedia public narrative project shown on public screens worldwide. Joynt’s multimedia installation project Resisterectomy, made in collaboration with Dr. M. K. Bryson, is currently traveling, with recent gallery shows in Chicago, Los Angeles, and at Princeton University. He holds a BA from the UCLA School of Theater Film and Television, and is a PhD candidate in film at York University in Toronto. In 2013-2014, he is in residence as a Visiting Artist and Scholar at the University of Chicago, where he holds a Mellon Fellowship in Arts Practice & Scholarship at the Richard and Mary L. Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry.

LatskyHeidi Latsky
Heidi Latsky Dance (HLD) is a dance company in New York City formed in 2001 and dedicated to redefining beauty and virtuosity through performance, discourse, and educational activity. HLD uses performers with unique attributes to bring rigorous, passionate, and provocative contemporary dance to diverse audiences. Artistic Director Heidi Latsky, originally from Montreal, first received recognition dancing for the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company (1987–1993). As a choreographer, she has represented Canada in festivals in Tel Aviv and France; received commissions from notable national and international venues; and performed at NYC venues that include Central Park Summerstage, BAM, and The Duke on 42nd Street. Her fascination with unexpected bodies resulted in 2006 in The GIMP Project—a body of work that includes dancers both with and without disabilities. These works have been presented nationally and internationally, are the subject of an Emmy-nominated AP multimedia piece, and have been featured on CNN, NET, and NPR. Upcoming performances include The Dance Center at Columbia College Chicago, The Chicago Humanities Festival, American Dance Festival,and Montclair State University. Latsky’s short film will be premiere at Montclair State University as the first film of the Dance for Film on Location at Montclair State University series underwritten by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. HLD has an extensive outreach program. A new site-specific GIMP work will be presented at The Atrium at Lincoln Center in fall 2015.

Riva Lehrer photo credit Kevin NanceRiva Lehrer
Riva Lehrer is an artist, writer, and curator whose work focuses on issues of physical identity and the socially challenged body, especially in explorations of cultural depictions of disability. Ms. Lehrer’s artwork has been shown in many venues, among them the United Nations, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Arnot Museum, the DeCordova Museum, the Frye Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, the Chicago Cultural Center, the State of Illinois Museum, and the Elmhurst Museum. She has been a visiting artist and lecturer across the U.S. and Europe. Lehrer’s awards include the 2014 Mellon Residency Fellowship at Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges, the 2015 Three Arts Residency Fellowship at the University of Illinois, the 2009 Prairie Fellowship at the Ragdale Foundation, the 2009 Critical Fierceness Grant, the 2008 Three Arts Foundation of Chicago grant for artistic achievement, and the 2006 Wynn Newhouse Award for Excellence. Other awards include those from the Illinois Arts Council, the University of Illinois, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Ms. Lehrer’s writing and visual art are included in numerous publications, including Criptiques, May Day Press, edited by Caitlin Wood, 2014, and Sex and Disability, Duke University Press, edited by Robert McRuer and Anna Mollow, 2011. She is an instructor in Medical Humanities at Northwestern University Medical School. Photo credit Kevin Nance.

Jeff Levine_Headshot1Jeff Levine, MD
Dr. Jeff Levine is an internist, geriatrician, and wound-care specialist at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital in New York City. Trained in geriatrics at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan, he is assistant professor of geriatrics and palliative care at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He has published numerous articles on wound care and is part of the teaching program for medical students, residents, and geriatric fellows. Dr. Levine has an interest in art as applied to medicine, and he studied at the Art Students League, the School of Visual Arts, and the International Center for Photography, all in Manhattan. He has photographed elders in his medical practice and throughout the United States and internationally, and his images have been published in textbooks and journals, including many medical magazine covers. His documentary photos of human aging were featured in the exhibition “Aging Across America,” which appeared at NYAM in 2010 and has since traveled to medical schools around the country. Dr. Levine is a NYAM Fellow and often uses the resources of the NYAM Library for his diverse publications on medical history.

Nuha_Nazy-2014Nuha Nazy
Nuha Nazy’s background is in operations analysis and imaging. She is cofounder and COO of ProofX, which focuses on 3D-printing technology to help surgeons deliver better outcomes at a lower cost to improve patients’ lives. Businesses she has owned have provided analysis and process reengineering to a host of Fortune 500 companies. Nazy has participated in the execution of various building operations spanning thirty-eight states, at city, state, and federal government levels. She owns RightSource Document Services, providing document services to corporate and government entities, and co-owns Platinum RightSource Services, a SVDOSB business serving the federal government in facilities management. She holds a BA in political science and economics from Rutgers University.

Michael NevinsMichael Nevins, MD
Dr. Michael Nevins practiced medicine for nearly four decades in northern New Jersey until his retirement in 2012. He grew up in the Bronx, was educated at Fieldston, Dartmouth, and Tufts Medical School, and completed residency training in internal medicine and cardiology at Mount Sinai Hospital. A frequent writer and lecturer on various topics in medical history, he is the author of ten books and numerous articles (see Dr. Nevins is the immediate past president of the Medical History Society of New Jersey and was the recipient of that organization’s David C. Cowen Award for career achievements in medical history. He served as vice-president of medical affairs at Bergen Regional Medical Center, was governor of the New Jersey Chapter of the American College of Physicians, and a member of the New Jersey Bioethics Commission.

Lisa RosnerLisa Rosner, PhD
Lisa Rosner is distinguished professor of history and director of the honors program at Stockton College, New Jersey. She received her BA from Princeton University and her PhD from The Johns Hopkins University. She has received awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Philosophical Society, and the Chemical Heritage Foundation. To find out more about the anatomy murders, visit her website “The Worlds of Burke & Hare,”

SappolMichael Sappol, PhD
Michael Sappol is a historian in the History of Medicine Division of the National Library of Medicine (National Institutes of Health). His scholarly work focuses on the body and on the history of anatomy; death; medical illustration and display; and the medical film. He is the author of A Traffic of Dead Bodies (2002) and Dream Anatomy (2006) and the editor of Hidden Treasure (Blast Books, 2012). His current book project is How to Get Modern with Scientific Illustration. PDFs of his selected works can be read or downloaded from

Schillace 2Brandy Schillace, PhD
A medical-humanities scholar and fiction writer, Brandy Schillace writes about culture, history, and intersections of medicine and literature (see more at She is research associate, and guest curator, for the Dittrick Museum of Medical History in Cleveland, as well as managing editor of Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry (an international journal of cross-cultural health research). Schillace co-edited a collection of essays, Unnatural Reproductions and the Monstrous (August 2014, Cambria Press). Her book Death’s Summer Coat: What the History of Death and Dying Can Tell Us About Life and Living is scheduled for publication in early 2015 from Elliott and Thompson. Shillace writes for Huffington Post, H-net, and the Centre for Medical Humanities blog, and manages the “Fiction Reboot | Daily Dose.” Dr. Schillace was an invited lecturer in 2010 at the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of Manchester, UK, and keynote speaker for the 2013 conference of the Archivists and Librarians in the History of Health Sciences.

Arlene ShanerArlene Shaner
Arlene Shaner joined the library staff at NYAM in 2001 as the reference librarian for historical collections after working in a number of different libraries including the University of Rochester, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Reed College, Indiana University, and St. Louis Community College.

Robert SimpsonRobert Simpson
Robert Simpson studied modern dance with Maxine Sheets-Johnstone, Willa Kahn, and Irene Feigenheimer; ballet with Alfredo Corvino, Michael Vernon, and Pamela Pribisco. In NYC he has performed his own work and in those of Barbara Roan, Claudia Gitelman, and since 2010, with Heidi Latsky Dance. As a result of a cerebral vascular accident in 1998, Robert lost the use of his left side. In 2005 he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.

WillbergKriota Willberg
Kriota Willberg explores the intersection of body sciences with creative practice through drawing, writing, performance, and needlework. Her projects have received support from the American Antiquarian Society, Dixon Place Theater, the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC), Franklin Furnace, and others. As a cartoonist she makes educational and quirky comics about health and the body. She has taught in a variety of institutions, including the Swedish Institute College of Health Sciences, NYU, the Center for Cartoon Studies, and the Society of Illustrators. Willberg is a massage therapist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; her comics and other independent projects are not affiliated with or endorsed by MSK. More of her projects can be seen at

Ian WilliamsIan Williams, MD
Dr. Ian Williams is a physician, comics artist, and founder of the website He coined the term graphic medicine to refer to the growing interface between the medium of comics and the discourse of healthcare. His medical humanities MA dissertation focused on medical narrative in comics and graphic novels, and he has co-organized four international conferences on comics and medicine. Dr. Williams is joint lead editor for a forthcoming series of books on graphic medicine from Penn State University Press. In early 2012 he worked as comics artist in residence at the Feinburg Medical School, Northwestern University, Chicago, on a grant from Wales Arts International. He has received grants from the Arts Council of Wales and the Wellcome Trust. His first graphic novel, The Bad Doctor, was published by Myriad Editions in June 2014.

sandie yi ArmedBeautifulChun-Shan “Sandie” Yi
Chun-Shan “Sandie” Yi received a BFA and MA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA from the University of California Berkeley. Yi makes wearable art that addresses bodily and cultural experience, and examines social stigma by remapping the narratives of skin, scars, and medical and surgical interventions on the disabled body. Yi’s work aims to inspire dialogue between the wearers and the viewers of her art objects. Her latest project focuses on body reconfiguration through delineating memories of medical and surgical intervention. Her work has been exhibited in North America, Eastern Europe, and Asia. She is currently a PhD student in disability studies at the University of Illinois.

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