Conference – Cherry-Picking or Consilience? Human Actors, Invisible Microbes, and (Non-)collaboration in Disease History – Monica H. Green – AHA conference

Session : Historians and Geneticists in Collaborative Research

AHA Session 254
Saturday, January 7, 2017: 3:30 PM-5:00 PM
Mile High Ballroom 3A (Colorado Convention Center, Ballroom Level) Denver.
Chair:
John R. McNeill, Georgetown University

Session Abstract:

An editorial in Nature (25 May 2016) notes that historians have been critical of recent interpretations of European migrations by geneticists, but from their armchairs. Princeton Medieval historian Patrick Geary is quoted as urging historians to be more proactive and take part in genetic research: “If historians do not get involved and engage with this technology seriously, we’re going to see more and more studies that are done by geneticists with very little input from historians, or from frankly second-rate historians.” This session includes presentations by two historians and one geneticist, to show how collaborative study linking historians and geneticists can advance the quality of historical studies relying on genetic information. The session is intended to encourage discussion among historians, especially early-career historians, on how involvement in research and study of the genetic-historical literature can lead to rewarding careers that substantially advance knowledge of the human past from this new angle.

Cherry-Picking or Consilience? Human Actors, Invisible Microbes, and (Non-)collaboration in Disease History

Saturday, January 7, 2017: 3:50 PM, Mile High Ballroom 3A (Colorado Convention Center)

Monica H. Green, Arizona State University

Every pre-modern historian knows how rarely we have all the evidence we want. We know that something happened in history’s silences because we know that human societies persisted. So, too, the palaeogeneticist must assume the continuity of life between the few random molecular fossils uncovered from the past, for that is the basic premise of evolutionary theory. But in all fields that deal with gap-ridden evidence, the question remains: what are legitimate methods for construing what happened in those gaps?Although climate scientists and historians now work toward consilience of written and physical data, that happy détente has yet to be achieved in biological history. Yes, the call to resist “cherry picking those milestones in human history that are best recorded” should be heeded. But what happens when this new kind of bioarchaeology treads into territory historians consider theirs, where there are written records? Who cedes to whom?

This paper will focus not on human genetics but on the molecular histories of the pathogens that kill and maim us. I will use the example of the Second Plague Pandemic (14th-19th centuries) to assert that consilience with History, with a capital ‘H’, is urgently needed for one simple reason: because the most disruptive biological actors in epidemic circumstances are humans themselves.

More information on the AHA program !

CFP – Religious and/or Medicinal definitions of Otherness – IMC

Religious and/or Medicinal definitions of Otherness,

IMC Leeds 2017

Religion and medicine were in many ways intertwined in the Middle Ages, both in explaining deviance, illness and impairment as well as in the healing practices. They are not anymore seen as competing but rather as supporting, even complementing each other.  Both religion and medicine had their own ways of defining the undesirable, which could lead to the construction of ‘The Other’ – be it disability, mental disorder, or heterodoxy. Some features, like lunacy, leprosy, impotence, or infertility were in the nexus of both religious and medicinal explanations. Both religion and medicine could also offer methods for cure and ways to integrate the deviant persons back into a community. The interconnection of both concepts can be found, for example, in hagiography, sermons, medical treatises and herbals. These sessions aim to analyse healing as cultural practice; the focal questions are how religious and medicinal explanation intermingled in the construction of ‘the Other’ and in what ways they complemented or competed in explaining, categorizing and treating different spiritual, mental and bodily conditions.

We aim at organizing a double session focusing on following questions:

  • Role of medicine and/or religion in constructing the Other
  • Role of medicine and/or religion in experiences of the patient
  • Religion and medicine – rivalling, complementing or symbiotic?
  • Treating the patient, curing the ailment – integration or permanent marginalization?
  • Faith healing and placebo – synonyms, interconnection, anachronisms?

We encourage proposals sensitive to temporal and/or geographical changes focusing on various cultural levels and social contexts. Those interested in presenting a paper in this panel, please submit an abstract of roughly 250-300 words to the organisers by 23 September 2016.

Contacts:
Jenni Kuuliala jenni.kuuliala@uta.fi
Sari Katajala-Peltomaa sari.katajala-peltomaa@uta.fi
Trivium, Tampere Centre for Classical, Medieval, and Early Modern Studies

New publication – Childhood Disability and Social Integration in the Middle Ages, by Jenni Kuuliala

 See original image

 

Childhood Disability and Social Integration in the Middle Ages.

Constructions of Impairments in Thirteenth- and Fourteenth-Century Canonization Processes

by Jenni Kuuliala

 

In this volume, testimonies from medieval canonization processes are (for the first time) systematically used as sources for the study of medieval attitudes and everyday life concerning physical impairments, particularly of children.

This volume offers new insights into medieval disability studies by analysing miracle testimonies from canonization processes as sources for the study of medieval attitudes to and understanding of childhood physical impairments: how they were defined, and the social consequences of childhood disability on the family, on the community, and on children themselves.

In these texts, laypeople from different social groups carefully described events leading to children’s miraculous cures of physical impairments, as well as the conditions themselves. They thus provide an exceptionally rich (yet hitherto unexplored) window into the ways in which medieval society defined, explained, and understood children’s impairments.

Besides simply describing disabilities and miraculous cures, these testimonies also reveal various aspects of everyday experiences and communal attitudes towards impaired children. The few testimonies by the children themselves offer fascinating insights into personal experiences of physical disability and how disability affected a child’s socialization and the formation of identity.

This study thus aims to tease apart the often-complex ways in which medieval society both viewed physical differences and how it chose to (re)construct these differences in the discourse of the miraculous, as well as in everyday life.

 

Table of Contents

Introduction

Chapter 1: Family and the Conceptions of Impairment

Chapter 2: Community and the Impaired Child

Chapter 3: Reconstructing Lived Experience

Chapter 4: Conclusions: Impairment and Social Inclusion

Bibliography

 

Find more information on the editor’s bewsite

New publication – The Routledge History of Disease ed. by Mark Jackson

Mark Jackson, The Routledge history of disease, 2016.

 

The Routledge History of Disease draws on innovative scholarship in the history of medicine to explore the challenges involved in writing about health and disease throughout the past and across the globe, presenting a varied range of case studies and perspectives on the patterns, technologies and narratives of disease that can be identified in the past and that continue to influence our present.

Organized thematically, chapters examine particular forms and conceptualizations of disease, covering subjects from leprosy in medieval Europe and cancer screening practices in twentieth-century USA to the ayurvedic tradition in ancient India and the pioneering studies of mental illness that took place in nineteenth-century Paris, as well as discussing the various sources and methods that can be used to understand the social and cultural contexts of disease. The book is divided into four sections, focusing in turn on historical models of disease, shifting temporal and geographical patterns of disease, the impact of new technologies on categorizing, diagnosing and treating disease, and the different ways in which patients and practitioners, as well as novelists and playwrights, have made sense of their experiences of disease in the past.

International in scope, chronologically wide-ranging and illustrated with images and maps, this comprehensive volume is essential reading for anyone interested in the history of health through the ages.

 

Table of Contents

List of figures

List of tables

Acknowledgements

List of contributors

1. Perspectives on the History of Disease – Mark Jackson

Part One: Models

2. Humours and Humoral Theory – Jim Hankinson

3. Models of Disease in Ayurvedic Medicine – Dominik Wujastyk

4. Religion, Magic and Medicine – Catherine Rider

5. Contagion – Michael Worboys

6. Emotions and Mental Illness – Elena Carrera

7. Deviance as Disease: The Medicalization of Sex and Crime – Jana Funke

Part Two: Patterns

8. Pandemics – Mark Harrison

9. Patterns of Animal Disease – Abigail Woods

10. Patterns of Plague in Late Medieval and Early-Modern Europe – Samuel Cohn

11. Symptoms of Empire: Cholera in Southeast Asia, 1820-1850 – Robert Peckham

12. Disease, Geography, and the Market: Epidemics of Cholera in Tokyo in the Late Nineteenth Century – Akihito Suzuki

13. Histories and Narratives of Yellow Fever in Latin America – Monica Garcia

14. Race, Disease and Public Health: Perceptions of Māori Health – Katrina Ford

15. Re-writing the ‘English disease’: Migration, Ethnicity and ‘Tropical Rickets’ – Roberta Bivins

16. Social Geographies of Sickness and Health in Contemporary Paris: Toward a Human Ecology of Mortality in the 2003 Heat Wave Disaster – Richard Keller

Part Three: Technologies

17. Disability and Prosthetics in Eighteenth- and Early Nineteenth-century England – David Turner

18. Disease, Rehabilitation and Pain – Julie Anderson

19. From Paraffin to PIP: The Surgical Search for the Perfect Breast – Fay Bound Alberti

20. Cancer Screening – David Cantor

21. Medical Bacteriology: Microbes and Disease, 1870 – 2000 – Christoph Gradmann

22. Technology and the `Social Disease’ – Helen Bynum

23. Reorganising Chronic Disease Management: Diabetes and Bureaucratic Technologies in Post-War British General Practice – Martin Moore

24. Before HIV: Venereal Disease Among Homosexually Active Men in the Anglo-American World – Richard McKay

Part Four: Narratives

25. Leprosy and Identity in the Middle Ages – Elma Brenner

26. French Medical Consultations by Mail, 1600-1800 – Robert Weston

27. The Clinical Narratives of James Parkinson’s Essay on the Shaking Palsy (1817) – Brian Hurwitz

28. Digital Narratives: 4 ‘Hits’ in the History of Migraine – Katherine Foxhall

29. Case Notes and Madness – Alannah Tomkins

30. Literature and Disease: A Novel Contagion – Sam Goodman

31. When Bodies Need Stories in Pictures – Arthur Frank

32. Living in the Present: Illness, Phenomenology, and Well-being – Havi Carel

Index

Find all the information on the editor website (Routledge)

CFP – Histories of Healthy Ageing – University of Groningen, 21–23 June 2017

Histories of Healthy Ageing

University of Groningen, 21–23 June 2017

As Western populations grow increasingly older, ‘healthy ageing’ is presented as one of today’s greatest medical and societal challenges. However, contrary to what many policy makers want us to believe, the aspiration to live long, healthy and happy lives is not a problem specific to our times. On the contrary successful ageing has a long history.

The conference Histories of Healthy Ageing is based on the assumption that ‘healthy ageing’ has informed the medical agenda since Antiquity. With ‘healthy ageing’ we refer to ways of thinking about and treating the body not only from a medical perspective, but also taking into account questions of what constitutes a happy and fulfilled life. In particular these latter issues were central to medicine before 1800 and relate to healthy living as much as to questions connected specifically to old age. Thus whether we speak of classic ways of training the athlete’s body, medieval religious rites, the pre-modern obsession with regimen (rules for living a healthy life), or the upper-class fancy to visit spas, at the root of it all was a wish for wellbeing, health and longevity.

The conference focuses especially (but not exclusively) on the pre-modern period. Submissions for 20-minute papers should include a 250-word abstract and a short CV. Subject to funding small travel grants might be available for junior researchers.
Possible topics include:

  • Histories of diet and dietetics, ‘sports’, spas and bathing, medication and life-elixirs, etc.
  • The materiality of healthy living and ageing (pills, powders and elixirs, bath houses, exercise apparatus, scales and the like)
  • Aesthetics and the history of cosmetic surgery
  • Prognosis and historical efforts to chart life expectancy
  • Relations between patients and doctors
  • Ars Moriendi and resilience in the face of illness and death
  • Healthy living and ageing outside academic medicine (quacks, alchemy, homeopathy)
  • Narratives of ‘healthy ageing’
  • The philosophical question of what constitutes a long and happy life
  • Life cycles
  • The understanding and application of the six ‘non-naturals’
  • Healthy ageing and the arts

Keynote lectures:

At the conference 5 keynote lectures will centre on the non-naturals, the areas defined by Hippocratic writers as the basis of health management and disease prevention.

  • Food and Drink by Elizabeth Williams (Oklahoma State)
  • Exercise and Rest by Onno van Nijf (Groningen)
  • Sleep and Wakefulness by William Maclehose (UC London)
  • Excretion and Retention by Michael Stolberg (Würzburg)
  • Perturbations of the Mind and Emotions by Irena Metzler (Swansea)

In addition to these specialised lectures there will be a public lecture by Robert Zwijnenberg (Leiden University) on Pre-modern Healthy Ageing and Modern Bio-medical Art.
Exhibition

The conference will be accompanied by an exhibition in the Groningen University Museum and the University Medical Centre Groningen (UMCG).
It opens June 2017.
Conference Organisers: Rina Knoeff, Ruben Verwaal, Catrien Santing, James Kennaway, Rolf ter Sluis.

Submissions and queries should be sent to: historiesofhealthyageing@gmail.com

Call closes: 1 December 2016

Download the Call for Papers here.

CFP – « Touching Hoccleve » – The International Hoccleve Society – Kalamazoo 2017

Touching Hoccleve – Kalamazoo 2017

Organized by The International Hoccleve Society

Recent work in such fields as disability studies, book history, affect studies, the history of emotions, and cultural studies has raised provocative questions about the writings of Thomas Hoccleve, the fifteenth-century Privy Seal clerk and friend of Geoffrey Chaucer. Hoccleve’s autobiographical accounts of his struggles with mental illness, social disaffection, and the physical strain of writing have offered modern scholars fruitful sites for re-examining the body, its textual representations, and its affects in ways analogous to current work in these emergent interdisciplinary fields. In particular, Hoccleve’s texts permit critiques of the presupposition of normative, able bodies as well as explorations of the variety of non-rational, sub-discursive ways that bodies affect and are affected by their surroundings. Recent scholarly attention to both the discursive affects and material effects of Thomas Hoccleve’s poetry has offered numerous sites for touching the medieval to these modern interventions.

Our panel seeks papers that extend work along these critical interventions, organizing our thought around the metaphors of “touching” and “recovering.” Thomas Hoccleve’s affective and emotional economies stage the categories of wellness, malady, (dis)ability, precarity, and recovery in quixotic and often thought-provoking ways. The blurring languages of financial, mental, and physical recovery in Hoccleve’s poetics present a complex interaction between the physical and psychic burdens of a precarious life. We hope the panel will consider both the ways Hoccleve’s depictions of malady and recovery can be touching and the sites where modern critical methods can touch Hoccleve’s medieval world in ways similar to those proposed by affect theorists like Erin Manning and medieval literary scholars like Carolyn Dinshaw. We invite papers that touch upon Hocclevean recovery in all of its facets and forms, including his poetic descriptions of recovery and its attendant affects, the recovery of Hocclevean material, the medieval medical contexts of Hoccleve’s infirmities, the work of memory as an act of recovery in the past and the present, the place of the text in all of its materiality as a document of recovery, and the blurring of financial, psychic, and physical recovery. In other words, we ask what is touching about Hoccleve’s poetry – what does it mean to be touched by it, to touch on it, or to handle its material?

We hope to offer a more nuanced and sensitive account of the affects, emotions, bodies, and texts engendered by Hoccleve’s poetics of recovering while also remaining open to the ways that recovery and the poetics of touch can be risky (or risqué). We recognize that touching the past can be dangerous or have the potential to diminish or destroy the very material we seek to handle. Similarly, we are sensitive to the ways in which thinking, writing, and speaking about recovery and non-normative bodies or subject positions can be difficult, uncomfortable, potentially offensive, or otherwise disaffecting. To touch the past can be exposing. Yet, the past’s provocative power resides in its very exposures to us and its power to expose us in its brief brushes and gentle caresses. We take up Hocclevean recovery, then, in order to ask whether, how, and why it touches us and how we might continue to reach back a recovering hand to our Hocclevean texts.

Please submit abstracts and inquiries to The International Hoccleve Society at hocclevesociety@gmail.com by September 15.

 

More information on the International Hoccleve Society website.

Call for Papers – ‘For I am a woman, ignorant, weak and frail’: Feminising Death, Disability and Disease in the later Middle Ages – IMC Leeds

‘For I am a woman, ignorant, weak and frail’: Feminising Death, Disability and Disease in the later Middle Ages

International Medieval Congress University of Leeds 3rd – 6th July 2017

Conference Details

The International Medieval Congress is the largest interdisciplinary medieval conference of its kind – attracting over 2,200 attendees from over 50 countries, and boasting approximately 1,700 individual papers within 580 academic sessions. Every year, the IMC chooses a special thematic strand which, for 2017, is ‘Otherness’. This focus has been chosen for its wide application across all centuries and regions and its impact on all disciplines devoted to this epoch. For further information on the Congress, see: http://www.leeds.ac.uk/ims/imc/imc2017_call.html 

Session Details

**Should this session attract enough interest it will become a three-part series, with each session focussing more deeply on the individual themes of death, disability and disease. Within late-medieval society, to be valued was to look and behave according to the societal ‘norm’ – dependency was largely represented as a feminine trait, whereas to be independent was to be masculine. How then did medieval people respond to deviations from these gendered expectations as a result of death (or dying), disabilities and chronic diseases? This session will consider the feminisation of death, disability and disease through an interdisciplinary lens, in order to answer questions about the perceived ‘feminine’ dependency of the marginal ‘third state’ between being fully healthy and fully sick (i.e. to be dying, diseased or disabled). It will hope to consider the contradictory nature of female disease and disability which both engendered an elevated sense of holiness and, conversely, a sense of physical monstrosity; the female response to death, disability and disease as elements of daily life which were (largely) out of their control; the effect of death, disability and disease on medieval constructions of masculinity; and whether – if death, disease and disability dehumanise the body – is it even important to consider the effect of these states on an individual’s gendered identity? We welcome multi-disciplinary papers from all geographical locations, c.1300-c.1500, which engage with themes such as (but not limited to): representations of death, disease and/or (dis)ability; literature either for or by women dealing with the themes of death, disease and/or disability; the tradition of Memento Mori and/or the Danse Macabre; the gendering of ‘Death’ ; the Black Death’s impact on traditional gender roles; obstetric death; female piety and holy anorexia; the effect of chronic disease and/or disability on late-medieval constructions of masculinity; women and disease (as the developers of cures, writers of recipes, carers or patients, etc.); female use of disability aids and/or prosthetics; and self-inflicted disfigurement.

Submission Guidelines

Please send a paper title and an abstract of 100-200 words to Rachael Gillibrand at the Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds (hy11rg@leeds.ac.uk) by 23rd September 2016.

New Publication – Fools and idiots? Intellectual disability in the Middle Ages by Irina Metzler

Fools and idiots?

 

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9636-5
  • Pages: 256
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £70.00
  • Published Date: February 2016
  • BIC Category: History, History of medicine, History & Archaeology, European history: medieval period, middle ages, CE period up to c 1500, HISTORY / Medieval, Medicine / History of medicine, Humanities / Medieval history, MEDICAL / History

 

Fools and idiots? is the first book devoted to the cultural history in the pre-modern period of people we now describe as having learning disabilities. Using an interdisciplinary approach, including historical semantics, medicine, natural philosophy and law, Irina Metzler considers a neglected field of social and medical history and makes an original contribution to the problem of a shifting concept such as ‘idiocy’.

Medieval physicians, lawyers and the schoolmen of the emerging universities wrote the texts which shaped medieval definitions of intellectual ability and its counterpart, disability. In studying such texts, which form part of our contemporary scientific and cultural heritage, we gain a better understanding of which people were considered to be intellectually disabled, and how their participation and inclusion in society differed from the situation today. This book will be required reading for anyone studying or working in disability studies, history of medicine, social history and the history of ideas.

 

Contents

1. Pre-/conceptions: problems of definition and historiography
2. From morio to fool: semantics of intellectual disability
3. Cold complexions and moist humors: natural science and intellectual disability
4. The infantile and the irrational: mind, soul and intellectual disability
5. Non-consenting adults: laws and intellectual disability
6. Fools, pets and entertainers: socio-cultural considerations of intellectual disability
7. Reconsiderations: rationality, intelligence and human status
Select bibliography
Index

More informations on the editor website

 

News ! – Serie editor on Disability History – Manchester University Press

Fools and idiots?
 

This series responds to the growing interest in disability as a discipline worthy of historical research. It has a broad international historical remit, encompassing issues that include class, race, gender, age, war, medical treatment, professionalisation, environments, work, institutions and cultural and social aspects of disablement including representations of disabled people in literature, film, art and the media.

Series editors: Dr. Julie Anderson and Professor Walton Schalick

Find mor informations on the Manchester University Press website