Although there are many points of continuity, there are also a number of changes in the pedagogical form of the anatomy lecture over the longue dure´e, over centuries of epistemic change, rather than over years or decades. The article begins with an analysis of the physical and technical arrangements of the early modern anatomy lecture, showing how these present a general underlying similarity compared to those in place today. It then goes on to consider examples of elements of speech and presentation, description and illustration that are used in the biology lecture from the early modern (sixteenth to seventeenth centuries) and late modern (or contemporary) eras. The anatomy lecture thus demonstrates a basic physical and technical continuity in the classroom or theater, whereas the larger epistemic functions in which it is embedded have changed: from a descriptive, discursive function, focusing on individual organs and their physicality, to one that is more integrative, systemic and also performative in both form and content.
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