Nonfiction author Mary Cappello will lecture at Ursinus College on Swallow: Foreign Bodies, Their Ingestion, Inspiration, and the Curious Doctor Who Extracted Them, her recently-released biography of Dr. Chevalier Jackson, inventor of the life-saving bronchoscope. The free event will be held on Tuesday, March 22, at 7 p.m. in the Main Gallery of Ursinus College’s Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art, and is open to the public.
Following the program will be a book signing, reception and performance by Ursinus students in Associate Professor Nzadi Keita’s Spoken Word class. They will respond to photographs taken by Dr. Jackson of “foreign bodies” he extracted from his patients over the years of his practice.
Jackson’s invention of the bronchoscope greatly advanced the field of laryngology and saved countless lives, by providing a nonsurgical way to extract pins, coins, teeth and other items that had been swallowed or inhaled. A woodworker and artist, Jackson served as a professor at Philadelphia medical colleges, including Jefferson Medical College and the University of Pennsylvania Graduate Medical College. In addition to the bronchoscope, he invented a number of other surgical instruments in his workshop at Sunrise Mill, his home in Montgomery County. The Chevalier Jackson Foreign Body Collection is a popular attraction at Philadelphia’s Mütter Museum.
Mary Cappello is a professor of English at the University of Rhode Island and the award-winning author of the books Night Bloom, Awkward: A Detour, and Called Back: My Reply to Cancer, My Return to Life. Her essays have appeared in The Michigan Review, The Georgia Review, Southwest Review, Western Humanities Review, Raritan and numerous anthologies. — B.A.