The Spaces of Renaissance Anatomy Theater

Leslie R. Malland (Ed.)

by Guilia Mari , David Soulier (Université Côte d’Azur, France), Carlos Fernando Teixeira Alves (Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon, Portugal), Jennifer Lodine-Chaffey (Southeastern Oklahoma State University), Leslie R. Malland (University of Texas Permian Basin), Gilad Gutman (Tel-Aviv University, Israel), Elizabeth Anne Kirby (New York University), Kaleigh Hunter (Bergische Universität Wuppertal, Germany)

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The space of Renaissance anatomy is not solely in the physical theatre. As this collection demonstrates, the space of the theatre encompasses every aspect of Renaissance culture, from its education systems, art, and writing to its concepts of identity, citizenship, and the natural world. This book argues that Renaissance anatomy theatres were spaces of intersection that influenced every aspect of their culture, and that scholars should broaden their concept of anatomy theatres to include more than the physical space of the theatre itself. Instead, we should approach the anatomy theatres as spaces where cultural expression is influenced by the hands-on study of human cadavers. This book enters the ongoing conversation surrounding Renaissance anatomy by dialogically engaging with such scholars as Jonathan Sawaday, Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks, Kathryn Schwarz, and primary texts such as ‘De humani corporis fabric’, Montaigne’s ‘Essais’, and Shakespearean plays. The book also features Renaissance artwork alongside works by Laurence Winram.

List of Figures and Tables


About the Authors

Introduction: Defining the Spaces of Renaissance Anatomy Theater

Chapter 1 Let His Body be Unburi’d: The Tabulae Evelinianae and the Allegory of the Anatomized Body in Early Modern England
Giulia Mari
Independent Researcher

Chapter 2 The Anatomy Theater in Renaissance Italy: A Space of Justice?
David Soulier
Université Côte d’Azur

Chapter 3 The Teaching of Anatomy at the University in the South of Europe: The Case Study of the Universities of Coimbra and Salamanca (XIV-XVI)
Carlos Fernando Teixeira Alves
University of Lisbon

Chapter 4 “How sweetly then she on her death-bed lay”: Edward May’s Rhetorical Anatomization of a Woman Burned at the Stake
Jennifer Lodine-Chaffey
Southeastern Oklahoma State University

Chapter 5 Her Body, His Evidence: Female Subjugation in the Early Modern Anatomy Theaters
Leslie R. Malland
University of Texas Permian Basin

Chapter 6 “Into the Bowels of Ungrateful Rome”: Anatomizing the Body-Politic of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus
Gilad Gutman
Tel-Aviv University

Chapter 7 ‘Nous ne scavons distinguer la peau de la chemise’: Perceiving the Naked Skin in Montaigne’s Essais and Titian’s “Flaying of Marsyas”
Elizabeth Anne Kirby
New York University

Chapter 8 ‘Et corps qu’est-ce?’: Dismantling Body in Montaigne’s Essais and Estienne’s La dissection des parties du corps humain en trois livres
Elizabeth Anne Kirby
New York University

Chapter 9 Gardens in the Anatomy Theater: Recreating the Garden of Eden in Leiden’s Anatomy Theater
Kaleigh Hunter
Bergische Universität Wuppertal

Conclusion: Expanding the Spaces of Renaissance Anatomy Theater
Leslie R. Malland
University of Texas Permian Basin


Works Consulted

Consulted Collections



Leslie R. Malland is a Visiting Lecturer of English at the University of Texas Permian Basin. Her PhD dissertation, ‘Death, Discipline, and the Dead: Biopolitical Rhetoric in Early Modern English Texts’, examines the period’s fascination with death and the ways in which death, as well as the treatment of the dead, was authorized by and supported the ideological aims of the state. Her research identifies how those themes carry over into the most popular works of the day. Her research interests include Renaissance anatomies, executions, rhetoric, and biopolitics. This book project began as a panel for the 2020 Renaissance Society of America annual conference. After the conference was postponed due to COVID, Dr. Malland, acting as panel chair, reached out to the presenters to suggest revising their work for this edited collection.

Biopower, Botany, Anatomy, Padua, Leiden, Feminism, Cadaver, Rhetoric

Bibliographic Information

Book Title

The Spaces of Renaissance Anatomy Theater





Number of pages


Physical size



17 B&W
Publication date
June 2022