Rebecca Messbarger, PhD

Professor of Italian; Art History; History; Performing Arts; International and Area Studies; and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies in Arts & Sciences
art, global health, medical humanities, policy, women's health

Dr. Messbarger is the director of the Medical Humanities program. Her research is centered on Italy in the early modern period, namely the Enlightenment Age. She examines the development of medical science at the intersection of the visual and plastic arts and human anatomy during this period and how these developments impacted public policy and public health. More narrowly, she examines representations of the medicalized body in popular eighteenth-century museums as an “enlightened” means to public education, as well as women’s roles in the advancement and dissemination of medical knowledge, including about women’s health. She is also interested in the modern hospital during the Enlightenment Age. Dr. Messbarger’s work in these areas has led to many collaborations with physicians and researchers in the School of Medicine.