Highlighting the relationship between Edinburgh’s prestigious literary community and its unique contributions to the history of medicine, this series of events is the product of an AHRC funded collaboration between the Surgeons Hall Museum and the Department of English Literature held at the museum between 14 February and 16 May 2013.

Image courtesy of the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh

The Dissecting Edinburgh project grew from the city’s shared identity as both a city of literature – both historically and, now, officially – and its remarkable legacy as the site of some of the United Kingdom’s most influential developments in the history of medicine. The project looks in detail at the way in which these two identities overlap, exploring the range of ways in which Scottish writers have been influenced and inspired by the city’s physicians, surgeons, and nurses. Through a series of public readings and lectures, and a weekly guided tour of the Surgeons Hall museum, Dissecting Edinburgh introduces a new perspective on the history of medicine as it unfolded in the Scottish capital.

These events explore the importance of a relationship between the literary and the medical, and consider how this kinship continues to shape attitudes towards health and healthcare. Looking at the way in which illness, surgery, and medical progress have been depicted in the fiction, poetry, and drama of Edinburgh’s writers, Dissecting Edinburgh also reveals how this mutual influence effects the next generation of doctors, writers, and scholars working and training in Edinburgh today.

*Of course, with a name like Dissecting Edinburgh and a location like the anatomy museum, we should point out that the contents of the museum and the events deal with the human body, and therefore may be disturbing to some. Events which we feel may be more graphic will carry a specific disclaimer, but keep in mind that some of the images and texts used on this website and during the events and tours might not be everybody's cup of tea (although we hope very much that most people will find it fascinating)!


Book your ticket today - all events are absolutely free!


Follow us on Twitter!


Check out our Facebook page!