Seeing the whole man: a visualist analysis of artificial limbs at the end of the nineteenth century
thesisposted on 24.05.2021, 07:34 by Constance Crompton
The thesis uses the central concerns of visual culture studies to investigate the shift towards artificial limbs that imitate the body as identified by Steven Mihm (2002). Drawing on a modified, less utopian, form of critical discourse analysis, which recognizes the sociocultural power of the visual, this thesis interrogates the promotional literature that the A.A. Marks Company, an artificial limb manufacturer, produced between 1888 and 1920. This thesis critically analyzes the techniques used by the company to assert their authority to frame their relationship to their clients. In addition, this analysis interrogates the company's use of the technologies of vision to champion visually imitative prosthesis. The goal of this analysis is to determine how the company deployed the turn towards the imitative, and what was at stake for the producers, and consumers, as well as the wider culture in the use of imitative limbs.