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UAL Research Online

Within the Frame: Self-Starvation and the Making of Culture

Albano, Caterina (2003) Within the Frame: Self-Starvation and the Making of Culture. In: Framing and Imaginary Disease in Cultural History. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 51-65. ISBN 1403912920

Type of Research: Book Section
Creators: Albano, Caterina

This collection of essays originated from the international series of Framing Disease Workshops, led by Prof. George Rousseau, leading scholar in the medical humanities. The workshops and collection focused on the cultural understanding of illness within an interdisciplinary framework. The book sets itself within the growing literature of interdisciplinary studies in the history of medicine and is both a sequel and a critical departure from Charles Rosenberg and Janet Golden’s 'Framing Disease: Studies in Cultural History'.

Key to the collection is an analysis of the discourses that construct disease across history, and the use of the notion of frame/framing as a methodological tool for deconstructing cultural tenets.

By focusing on a late 17th century case, my essay deconstructs contemporary medical and popular interpretations of self-starvation, pointing to a process of enculturation of the disorder that is still recognisable for anorexia nervosa: a transition from cultural practice to medical condition. The essay is based on research into historical documents and offers a new approach to the reading of such documents by locating them within a cultural historical framework, highlighting narrative tropes and cultural patterns. A book proposal on the cultural history of self-starvation is under consideration.

The essay was first presented at the Oxford workshop (2001) of the Framing Disease group (of which I was member) and, after publication, to the Anglo-American Conference of Historians (London, 2003).

Official Website: http://www.palgrave.com/products/title.aspx?PID=267426
Additional Information (Publicly available):

Caterino Albano
Research Interests
Cultural history, cultural theory, history of medicine and science, curating, visual and perfoming arts.
Current Research
I am currently working on a book project Fear and Art (working title) to be published by Reaktion on the cultural construction of fear as articulated through the lens of the visual arts. Fear and Art timely looks at contemporary ‘culture of fear’ by exploring the significance of contemporary art in betraying a climate of uncertainty and anxiety. The book reflects upon the present and on the rich panorama of artists bridging between cultural theory, history of emotion, and art criticism.

I collaborated in a curatorial capacity on ‘Exploring the Invisible’, an interdisciplinary project by artist Anne Brodie and molecular microbiologist Simon Park (University of Surrey) funded by the Wellcome Trust. The project explores the properties of the light of the bioluminescent bacterium Photobacterium phosphoreum. The project investigates human relation with bacteria using enquiry and experimentation across photography, film and installation.

I also collaborate as an external consultant on a curatorial capacity for the Wellcome Trust to the forthcoming exhibition ‘Medicine and Art: Imagining a Future for Life and Love – Leonardo, Okyo, Damien Hirst (Mori Museum, Tokyo, 28th November 09 – 28th February 2010). The exhibition explores the art and science of the human body historically and through contemporary art and is based on the medical collection of the Wellcome Trust.

Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: Palgrave Macmillan
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Central Saint Martins
Date: 2003
Funders: Leverhulme Trust, Wellcome Trust
Related Websites: http://www.kal69.dial.pipex.com/shop/pages/isbn998.htm, http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a739120354&db=all
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Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2009 12:26
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2010 12:59
Item ID: 1309
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1309

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