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"Egon Schiele in the Clinic: Medicine, Motherhood, and the Biopolitics of Viennese Modernism"
“Pathological” was a damning term frequently applied to the visual art of Viennese modernism. Yet while the nudes of Klimt, Schiele, Kokoschka, and others diverged sharply from the classical pictorial tradition, they emerged alongside a contemporaneous trend: the increasing presence of medical imagery in the city’s visual vernacular. In the decades after 1900, the bodies of working-class Viennese—women and children, in particular—came to occupy a central place in films, lectures, exhibitions, and literature. A medicalized gaze, this lecture argues, was fostered by a complex Viennese social network of physicians, artists, writers, and politicians—all of whom staked their claims on women's bodies to vastly different ends.
Alys George is assistant professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of German at New York University, where she is also affiliate faculty of the Center for European and Mediterranean Studies. Her book The Naked Truth: Viennese Modernism and the Body is forthcoming with the University of Chicago Press.