The Premodern Body Research Group (PreModBod) brings together the expertise of Edinburgh scholars working on any aspect of the body (human or animal) in the period up to c. 1750. 

We bring together staff and students from a variety of disciplines and geographical specialisations to offer comparative approaches to the understanding and representation of the body in global contexts - including East and South Asia, the Islamic world and colonial Latin America as well as several European countries. Amongst other areas, we look at the representation of the unclothed body, the body in parts, the body as a metaphor for the state, and as a conduit or barrier to the divine.  We are also interested in how the past – particularly the body in the past – relates to current political and social ideas.

Members of the PreMod Bod group discuss items from the University’s Special Collections
Image: Jill Burke
Members of the PreMod Bod group discuss items from the University’s Special Collections

"We work in collaboration with some of the world's greatest institutions, including the British Museum and the Royal Academy (London), the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles), the National Galleries of Scotland (Edinburgh), the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte (Munich), the British School at Rome, and the BBC."

Our group members have an international research profile and work on a diverse range of subjects. We work in collaboration with some of the world's greatest institutions, including the British Museum and the Royal Academy (London), the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles), the National Galleries of Scotland (Edinburgh), the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte (Munich), the British School at Rome, and the BBC.

There are a range of events that fall under our umbrella, from informal seminars, to lectures by visiting scholars, to visits to museums, galleries and archives.

For updates about our activites follow us on Twitter @PreModBod or email the group’s coordinator, Jill Burke, (jill.burke@ed.ac.uk).

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