Brynne McBryde graduated from the University of Michigan with a dual concentration in the history of art and English language and literature. She obtained a master’s degree in art history at the George Washington University and completed her doctoral studies in art history at the Pennsylvania State University, presenting her dissertation “Public Bodies: the Nude and Public Health in Nineteenth-Century France” in 2020, which was recognized with a Penn State Alumni Association Dissertation Award. Her research has been supported by numerous grants and fellowships including a Pennsylvania State University Art History Dissertation Fellowship and a Waddell Biggart Graduate Fellowship.

Brynne’s work focuses on the intersections of medicine, race, sexuality, and visuality in the nineteenth century by revealing medical illustrations as important tools in the dissemination of scientifically-defined identity categories. She examines photographs, intaglio prints, drawings and oil paintings as well as medical textbooks, journals, and popular health and hygiene pamphlets. Recently she has become increasingly interested in the networks of knowledge and social identities created by the circulation of these texts and the rhetoric of scientific medicine that accompanied them during and after the Enlightenment. Her current book project, on the subject Enlightenment Medical Illustration and the Embodiment of Biological Myth, is the focus of her work as a Junior Fellow in the Turin Humanities Programme of Fondazione 1563 per l’Arte e la Cultura della Compagnia di San Paolo.

Research cycle

Enlightenment legacy: the rights of man in a global perspective.

Brynne McBryde

Enlightenment Medical Illustration and the Embodiment of Biological Myth

Brynne McBryde