Skip navigation

Barbara Maria Stafford

Barbara Stafford is the William B. Ogden Distinguished Service Professor of Art History at the University of Chicago. She is the author of Good Looking, Artful Science, Body Criticism, and Voyage into Substance (all published by MIT Press).

Titles by This Author

Consciousness as the Art of Connecting

Recuperating a topic once central to philosophy, theology, rhetoric, and aesthetics, this groundbreaking book explores the discovery of sameness in otherness. Analogy poses an intriguingly ancient and modern conundrum. How, in the face of cultural diversity, can a unique someone or something be perceived as like what it is not?

Enlightenment Entertainment and the Eclipse of Visual Education

What has happened to the magic of learning? Playful illusions, spellbinding games, and lifelike automata were once integral to education. Artful Science reveals the exhilarating but paradoxical intertwining of enchantment with enlightenment in the early modern period. A cross-disciplinary guide to intellectual high and low life of the eighteenth century, Artful Science makes the case for the pedagogical opportunities inherent in an oral-visual culture.

Imaging the Unseen in Enlightenment Art and Medicine

Body Criticism is a celebration of visual culture as well as a major contribution to our understanding of the history of the human body. At its core is a profound exploration of the innovative strategies developed in the eighteenth century for making visible the unseeable aspects of the world. In the process it uncovers and analyzes the persistence of a remarkable set of body metaphors deriving from both aesthetic and medical practices.