Kansas City Public Library Hosts Symposium on Plastinated Corpses

All Library locations will be closed on Sunday, April 20, in observance of the Easter holiday.

For Immediate Release:
December 3, 2008
Contact: Paul Smith
816.701.3668
Kansas City Public Library Hosts Symposium on Plastinated Corpses

The Kansas City Public Library hosts a day-long bioethics symposium called Controversial Bodies: How to View Plastinated Corpses on Friday, December 5, starting at 9 a.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.

Over the last decade, millions of people have paid admission fees to view museum displays of carefully dissected, beautifully preserved, and artfully displayed corpses. These exhibits have offended some patrons and exhilarated others while generating millions of dollars in revenue for both their museum hosts and their manufacturers.

Controversial Bodies: How to View Plastinated Corpses is a day-long conference examining the legal, commercial, artistic, and educational aspects of the controversy.

Scholars will discuss the evolution of such exhibits, examine how they reinforce or undermine traditional moral sanctions regarding the treatment of the dead, and analyze the implications for broader debates about the commodification of the body.

Speakers include:

Barbara Stafford, Professor of Art History, University of Chicago, author of Body Criticism: Imaging the Unseen in Enlightenment Art and Medicine.

Lynda Payne, Sirridge Professor of Medical Humanities, University of Missouri at Kansas City, author of With Words and Knives: Learning Medical Dispassion in Early Modern England.

Linda Schulte-Sasse, DeWitt Wallace Professor of German Studies, Macalester College, author of "Body of Knowledge Is Thinly Sliced at Science Museum."

Farr Curlin, Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Chicago, author of Religion, Conscience, and Controversial Clinical Practices.

Linda Segebrecht, Director of Education, Union Station Science Museum, Kansas City.

John Lantos, John B. Francis Chair in Bioethics, Center for Practical Bioethics, Kansas City, author of Do We Still Need Doctors?

Geoff Rees, Assistant Professor of Medical Humanities, Rush College of Medicine, author of Trading Faces: A Case Study in the Science of Identity, Aesthetics, and Ethics.

Callum Ross, Professor of Anatomy, University of Chicago, Director of the Human Morphology course at the Pritzker School of Medicine.

Admission is free. Call 816.701.3407 to indicate your interest in attending or you may RSVP online.

This conference is co-sponsored by the Center for Practical Bioethics, the University of Kansas Medical Center’s History and Philosophy of Medicine Department, the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, the Kansas Humanities Council and the Kansas City University for Medicine and Biosciences.