History Student Explores Disabilities on Display

Trevor Engel is majoring in History AND double-minoring in Disability Studies and German.

Newsroom

For a week this summer, History senior Trevor Engel spent hours looking through old documents, surrounded by collections of skulls and mummified remains.

Engel, who is researching anatomical museums and eugenics, was awarded a Wood Institute travel grant from the College of Physicians of Philadelphia and the chance to spend time in the world-famous Mütter Museum. For several days, he worked a few rooms away from exhibitions and collections that include severed spines, antique medical equipment and slides of Albert Einstein’s brain.

“The Mütter Museum is fascinating,” Engel said. “It’s sort of a modern freak show of the dead. It may be weird or gross you out, but they’re teaching about anatomy and how medical science has evolved over the years.”

History senior Trevor Engel looks through archived records at the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia this summer. (Photo contributed) History senior Trevor Engel looks through archived records at the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia this summer. (Photo contributed)

Engel’s project focuses on how museums during the mid-to-late 1800s…

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