Pathologies of Difference

Pathologies of Difference maps the ways medicine and race shaped colonial expansion and traces their impact on perceptions of racial difference, disease and health today.

With this project, we present the information in the Database  through different forms. Networks allows you to use filters to visualize connections between objects. Map shows the geographic distribution of the database.

British Empire throughout the world exhibited in one view.

John Bartholomew. British Empire throughout the world exhibited in one view. 1850. Library of Congress. Copyright/Permissions: Bartholomew, John, and A. Fullarton & Co. British Empire throughout the world exhibited in one view. [S.l., 185] Map. Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division.

This map unfurls the ‘world’ giving an all-encompassing view of the territories, and people, forced to belong to the British Empire. Maps like this presented the world as a site of endless resources and continue to shape our understanding and experience of space, the meanings we can envision about who we are, and how we got here. In this section we use the objects in the database to form another kind of map that interrogates our colonial histories, and acknowledges their present-day legacies.

Medicine and Art History are connected by a reliance on the visual, but how we see is influenced by what we are able to, compelled or allowed to see. Black feminist scholars like Dorothy Roberts remind us that “race is built into the foundation of medicine.” By following these conjunctions, we want to consider how meanings of race and processes of image-making mediate practices of observation and interpretation that sustained (still sustain) the field of medicine. By tracing these intersections, we also want to make connections between different geographies and histories not usually brought together. This is one way of unmapping the historical views we have been given, to create alternative viewing positions into our past, and into our futures.

Art Hx