Maia Isabelle Woolner

Scholar (History), US

Maia Isabelle Woolner is a PhD candidate in History at the University of California, Los Angeles. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from McGill University and an MPhil in intellectual history from the University of Cambridge. Her work focuses on topics at the nexus of medical, technological, and cultural history. She is currently writing her doctoral dissertation, which explores how the use of time-keeping devices in psychiatric practice contributed to the phenomenon of social acceleration and to the pathologization of time in modern France.

Figure 1. Medical Autopsy Room, Photo by Author.

What makes a person whole? Medical films and body image in France after WWI

During her residency at the Camargo Foundation, Maia worked on a second project about images of the body during the interwar period by examining the relationship between medical cinematography and the status of bodily integrity in France after WWI. In particular, her project contextualized the neurological and neuropsychiatric films of French doctor and proponent of scientific cinematography Jean Comandon. Produced by Pathé and intended for medical students and practitioners, these films nevertheless participated in a wider landscape of corporeal anxiety that permeated French culture during the 1920s and 30s.

Maia Woolner was in residence at the Camargo Foundation in 2019, as part of the Core Program.