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Authors: Maus, Martha Ann
Advisors: Merediz, Eyda M
Department/Program: Spanish Language and Literature
Type: Dissertation
Sponsors: Digital Repository at the University of Maryland
University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
Subjects: Literature
Keywords: Cabeza de Vaca
theater of anatomy
Issue Date: 2011
Abstract: In this dissertation, entitled "Theaters of Anatomy: Diseased Bodies and History Writing in the Hispanic Transatlantic World," I establish a connection between medical and narrative disciplines using the famous medical treatise by Dr. Juan Huarte de San Juan, Examen de los ingenios para las ciencias, and three poetic/ history writing treatises, including Alonso López Pinciano's Philosophia Antigua Poética, Luis Cabrera de Córdoba's De Historia, para entenderla y escribirla, and Gerónimo de San José's Genio de la historia. I explore how the permeable boundaries between medical and narrative practices are woven together to create political meaning in a corpus of texts from the sixteenth century. By establishing the intricate relationship between medicine, political goals, and narrative; my work creates a historical trajectory between genres and show the way that each appropriates and differentiates itself from one another. It also demonstrates the parallel and dependent relationship on the developing studies of medicine and historiography. I use this interdisciplinary link to compare the figure of a history writer to that of a practitioner and follow the figure of the history-writer practitioner as he transforms through three texts: from a knight in Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo's Las Sergas de Esplandián, to a traveler in Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca's Relación, and then as a friar in Bernardino de Sahagún's Historia general de las cosas de Nueva España. In each text, I investigate how physical disease is linked to sin, and thus non-Christians are portrayed as diseased. Throughout the dissertation, I explore how writers of history negotiate ways in which to heal the sinful and integrate them into a healthy Christian civic body.
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UMD Theses and Dissertations

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