Stretching the Vitruvian Man: Investigating Affective and Representational Arts-based Methodologies Towards Theorizing a More Humanistic Model of Medicine
MetadataShow full item record
Westernized medicine can be said to illustrate its history and structure, as well as its current understanding of the capacity and appearance of the human through its visual representations of the body. Scientific images, this paper argues, become a site for interrogating the tangle of idealism, truth, objectivity and knowledge in how knowledge is actively used, replicated, paralleled and otherwise functions. First, asking how depictions of the medicalized body inform the epistemological foundations of medicine, and to what end, this work opens up the question of methodology, arguing that the integration of the modes of arts-based practices can bring medicine toward a much more realistic picture of the world. A parallel argument is a similarly concentrated interrogation of the affective quality of arts-based methodology, which is commonly understood to be the nucleus of work on the political dimensions of non-representational theory. I complicate the dominant scholarly preference for an ontologically rooted affect theory, finding it theoretically non-viable for art and humanistic medicine by thinking through subjectivity, autobiographical accounts of illness and epistemological flexibility. I see a path forward using a biologically and evolutionarily rooted affect theory, noting the ethical implications of its differences for a humanistic approach to medicine.