• Tu es le Corps, Dame, & je suis ton ombre 

Anatomy of a Website

  • AGORA: course related interactive platform (syllabus, guidelines, class blog)
  • ARCHIVE: a database of texts, images, and files on or from the early modern period
  • STUDIO: creative workshop for writers, multimedia experiments, unrealizable ideas
  • PEOPLE: who we are, whom to contact
  • LINKS: a network of sites and resources around the early modern body

As human dissections were more widely authorized and practiced in the Renaissance, they revolutionized not only the "body" of knowledge on human anatomy, but also the way people conceived of science, truth and the learning process. "Anatomy" and "dissection" became prevalent metaphors for "uncovering" the ultimate truth about a given object, physical or not. The anatomical paradigm emphasizes fragmentation, sight and experience in pedagogy and in scientific progress.
Cutting through the skin to access deeper layers of a corpse, the anatomical gaze provides a convenient metaphor for textual analysis and the conception of this website as well.
As we unfold texts, taking out one layer after another to uncover deeper structures, systems of images, ideologies, or allusions to other texts, we too are always looking for the inside, the invisible, what lies beneath the surface. hence the metaphor of dissection as the principal research process in textual analysis.

This website has been designed with this metaphor in mind: its visual identity, the home page banner, superimposes books and bodies, dissections of texts and of corpses. It asks the audience to look closer: beyond the usual “framework” of the screen, in its furthest corners you will get a glimpse at hidden images. In their learning process too, the students will have to navigate deeper and deeper within the layers of the site, some of which are hidden beneath benign titles, or in password protected spaces. Those who will dig in and go beyond the apparent structure to the most hidden, invisible parts of the website will be rewarded with a wealth of intriguing illustrations, some disturbing, some unimaginable, some emotional, all touching on our most common birth mark: our bodies.


© Alduy & RenaissanceBodyProject- September 2007.