CFPs on disability for the International Congress on Medieval Studies – Kalamazoo (and online) 2022

Medieval Sermon Studies I: Disease, Health, and Sermons

Contact Person: Jessalynn Bird ; jbird@saintmarys.edu

Principal Sponsoring Organization: International Medieval Sermon Studies Society

This session explores the rhetoric, metaphors, and physical realities of spiritual, mental, and physical illness in the medieval period in pastoral literature and sermons. Discourse between pastoralia and other genres is encouraged (liturgy, hagiography, miracle stories, vernacular literature, hospital records and medical treatises).

Deadline for New Submissions: Wednesday, September 15, 2021
 
 
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Of Pestilences and Plagues: Sickness in the Medieval Court

Contact Person: Shawn Cooper

Principal Sponsoring Organization: International Courtly Literature Society (ICLS), North American Branch

The International Courtly Literature Society (North American Branch) invites paper proposals for a sponsored session: Of Pestilences and Plagues: Sickness in the Medieval Court. We welcome submissions addressing the depiction of illness in courtly literatures, chronicles, histories, and other artistic media. Comparative readings of medieval and modern depictions of sickness in the setting of the medieval court are also welcome. Presenters will receive a year’s membership in the ICLS-NAB, and may be eligible for presentation-related grants and awards of the society.

Deadline for New Submissions: Wednesday, September 15, 2021
 
 
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Trauma, Disability, and the Anchorhold

Contact Person: Michelle Sauer

Principal Sponsoring Organization: International Anchoritic Society

Trauma studies and work that links studies of disability and trauma finds ample representation in the texts and contexts of anchorites, and their frequent citation of Christ’s wounds and the valorization of sickness, pain, and distress in the anchorhold. For this panel, we are seeking papers that interrogate the role and use of trauma and its attendant concerns—witnessing, wounds, pain—in the study of anchorites, their texts, and the responses to both. Papers are welcome that touch on the material realities of these figures and their receptions, or which concentrate on the figurative significance of trauma.

Deadline for New Submissions: Wednesday, September 15, 2021.
 
 
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The « New Paradigm » of Plague Studies: Expanded Geographies and Chronologies of the Medieval Pandemics

Contact Person: William York

Principal Sponsoring Organization: Medica: The Society for the Study of Healing in the Middle Ages

In 2014, Monica Green wrote “the field of historical plague studies … must be redefined in three dimensions: its geographic extent, its chronological extent, and the methodological registers we use to investigate it.” Since then, work on the full extent of both the 1st and 2nd Plague Pandemics has continued as Green anticipated, now encompassing the Mongol Empire (and perhaps the Xiongnu before them) and extending, perhaps, into sub-Saharan Africa. Whereas prior scholarship focused on the Mediterranean and Europe, pandemic studies must necessarily cast a wider net. This panel invites presentations of the latest work in the field.

Deadline for New Submissions: Wednesday, September 15, 2021.
 
 
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The Globalization of Medieval Medicine: Ideas, Authorities, and Products 1000-1600

Contact Person: William York

Principal Sponsoring Organization: Medica: The Society for the Study of Healing in the Middle Ages

This panel explores the globalization of medieval medicine, beginning in the eleventh century via the Silk Road and continuing through the early modern era of exploration and discovery. It will look at how medieval European medical practice and theory changed due to the influx of new ideas, practices, and pharmaceutical products. Panelists will also consider how medical consumerism and the transmission of ideas were affected by economic, religious, cultural, political, and technological changes, such as the advent of printed medical texts and the popularization of medical authorities outside of the ancient canon.

Deadline for New Submissions: Wednesday, September 15, 2021.
 
 
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Age in Monastic Life

Contact Person: Amelia Kennedy ; amelia.kennedy@uni-graz.at

From child oblates to venerable seniors, age plays a crucial role in monastic life. Yet it is easy to overlook mentions of age in historical sources as merely recording objective facts. This panel explores age as a socially constructed category within the monastery, asking how “age” was calculated, asserted, and negotiated. We invite proposals for 15-20-minute papers analyzing concepts of age and the life-cycle in medieval monasticism: How did monastic authors understand the aging process? How were relationships among different generations governed? What are the relationships between age and gender, authority, disability, or spirituality?

Deadline for New Submissions: Wednesday, September 15, 2021
 
 
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From Farm to Sick Bed: Food, Illness, and Medicine in the Medieval West

Contact Person: John Bollweg ; admin@mensetmensa.org

Principal Sponsoring Organization: Mens et Mensa: Society for the Study of Food in the Middle Ages

From epidemics traced to so-called “wet markets” dealing in food and medicine to the pursuit of longevity through the “Mediterranean Diet” — foods, diet, and regional foodways to be presented as both a cause and cure of illness. For this session, we seek papers on any examples (historical, literary, natural philosophical, religious, etc.), from Europe or the Mediterranean basin, in the years 500 C.E. through 1600 C.E., of food or drink as either the creator or the corrector of diseases physical or moral, individual or communal. This session continues the theme of a Fall 2021 conference.

Deadline for New Submissions: Wednesday, September 15, 2021
 
 
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Disability, Disease, and Health: New Voices, New Directions

Contact Person: Leah Parker

Principal Sponsoring Organization: Society for the Study of Disability in the Middle Ages

Paper proposals on any topic relating to disability, disease, and/or health will be welcomed, on any period between c. 500–1500 and on any geographical area. Topics might include, but are not limited to: lived experiences of impairment, medicine, healing, stigma, pandemic, contagion, textual or visual representations of bodily difference, archaeological evidence of impairment, theological/political/social attitudes toward disability, the body in law, etc. Presenters may be emerging in terms of their career (e.g., graduate students or early career researchers) or emerging by bringing their research into a new direction (i.e., newly engaging with the study of disability, disease, and/or health).

Deadline for New Submissions: Wednesday, September 15, 2021
 
 
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Medicine and Health Care in Medieval Iberia

Contact Person: Elisa Manzo

Principal Sponsoring Organization: Association of Graduate and Early Career Scholars of Medieval Iberia (AGECSMIberia)

Studies on premodern medicine have had a remarkable increase in the last decades and the recent global pandemic has done no more than further increase this trend. This session invites contributions on medicine and health care in Medieval Iberia from graduate and early career scholars, coming from a range of backgrounds and working on different aspects of this field. Potential topics may include: continuity or disruption in the medical practice between Roman and Post-Roman Iberia, regulations to safeguard physicians and patients, Jewish medicine in Christian and Arabic milieus, women healers’ status, the social effects of the so-called “medical pluralism”.

Deadline for New Submissions: Wednesday, September 15, 2021
 
 
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Medicine in the Global Middle Ages

Contact Person: Meg Oldman ; oldman@tarleton.edu

Principal Sponsoring Organization: Medieval Makars Society

After a year, the world is beginning to see an end to the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout it all, we have heard various ways to cope with or test our resilience against the novel coronavirus, from logical public health recommendations such as mask wearing and hand washing to abstract suggestions like injecting bleach and holding our breaths for 10 seconds. Suggestions such as these are nothing new. Prior to public health initiatives we know today, folklore was an important method of transmission for medical knowledge. We are looking for papers that explore global transmissions of medical knowledge through folkloric methods.

Deadline for New Submissions: Wednesday, September 15, 2021
 

New book – Beholding Disability in Renaissance England, by Allison P. Hobgood – University of Michigan Press

Beholding Disability in Renaissance England

 
Allison P. Hobgood
 
How disability and ableism took shape in Renaissance England
 

Description

Human variation has always existed, though it has been conceived of and responded to variably. Beholding Disability in Renaissance England interprets sixteenth- and seventeenth-century literature to explore the fraught distinctiveness of human bodyminds and the deliberate ways they were constructed in early modernity as able, and not. Hobgood examines early modern disability, ableism, and disability gain, purposefully employing these contemporary concepts to make clear how disability has historically been disavowed—and avowed too. Thus, this book models how modern ideas and terms make the weight of the past more visible as it marks the present, and cultivates dialogue in which early modern and contemporary theoretical models are mutually informative.

Beholding Disability also uncovers crucial counterdiscourses circulating in the English Renaissance that opposed cultural fantasies of ability and had a keen sensibility toward non-normative embodiments. Hobgood reads impairments as varied as epilepsy, stuttering, disfigurement, deafness, chronic pain, blindness, and castration in order to understand not just powerful fictions of ability present during the Renaissance but also the somewhat paradoxical, surprising ways these ableist ideals provided creative fodder for many Renaissance writers and thinkers. Ultimately, Beholding Disability asks us to reconsider what we think we know about being human both in early modernity, and today.
 

Allison P. Hobgood is an Affiliated Scholar at Willamette University.

More information on the editor website.

CFP – IMC Leeds – The Borders of Disability and Ability, Illhealth and Health

MS. Bodl. 264 – 191r

CfP: The Borders of Disability and Ability, Illhealth and Health

The study of Disability history has recently experienced substantial shifts in scholarly approach. Academics since the 2000s have recognised more clearly than ever that the meaning and experience of Disability changes over time, and within and between cultures (Turner and Pearman, 2010). It is now understood as a socio-cultural phenomenon, an embodied state which diverges from culturally constituted “norms” at a given moment in time (Barsch, Klein and Verstraete, 2013). Scholars have approached Disability/illhealth in different contexts, from social histories of communities of Disabled or chronically ill people; to cultural studies of Disability/illness across different genres; to identifying Disability as an intrinsically liminal position (Crawford and Leet, 2010; Eyler, 2010; Baker, Nijdam, and van’t Land, 2012; Metzler 2013). Recently, several publications have tried to better delimit the field of research with the aim of contributing to a deeper understanding of disease and Disability in medieval culture and thought (Künzel and Connelly, 2018; Hsy, Pearman and Eyler, 2020).

 The special thematic strand of the International Medieval Congress for 2022 invites scholars to question how notions of borders, variously defined, serve to limit communities and identities. We therefore seek to put together a session or sessions exploring the border(s) between Disability and ability, and/or health and illhealth.

 

Proposals may include (but are not confined to) the following:

  • How the definition and differentiation between Disability/illhealth and ability/health division varies in different contexts,  E.g. the suffering of a saint as part of their sanctity vs suffering as something to be cured by a saint; mysticism vs mental illness; sin as an ‘illness’ vs the redemptive opportunities of suffering; different physical expectations/requirements of different genders/occupations/social strata.
  • Where does the impact of Disability/illhealth end? Does it move beyond the borders of an individual/group to affect the wider society? E.g. impact of caring for Disabled/ill persons; opportunity for charity towards a Disabled/ill person.
  • How does Disability/illhealth fit within, on, or interact with the ‘borders’ of or in society? How does it fit with ideas of marginalization, or how does Disability/illhealth intersect with other  socio-economic experiences? E.g. experiences of Disability/illhealth in different social strata, ages, gender identities, cultural roles.
  • Where is the border between illhealth and Disability? How were they defined? Do definitions/descriptions differ across source materials? E.g. descriptions of Disability/illhealth in medical texts, literature, religious texts, legal texts.

 

Abstracts of no more than 300 words for a 20 minutes paper presentation should be submitted to the session organisers Adelheid Russenberger (a.v.s.russenberger@qmul.ac.uk) and Dr Ninon Dubourg (ninon.dubourg@gmail.com) by 31 August 2021.

New book – Disease and Disability in Medieval and Early Modern Art and Literature, eds. Rinaldo F. Canalis and Massimo Ciavolella – Brepols, April 2021.

 
 
Humanity has always shown a keen interest in the pathological, ranging from a morbid fascination with ‘monsters’ and deformities to a genuine compassion for the ill and suffering. Medieval and early modern people were no exception, expressing their emotional response to disease in both literary works and, to a somewhat lesser extent, in the plastic arts. Consequently, it becomes necessary to ask what motivated writers and artists to choose an illness or a disability and its physical and social consequences as subjects of aesthetic or intellectual expression. Were these works the result of an intrusion in their intent to faithfully reproduce nature, or do they reflect an intentional contrast against the pre-modern portrayal of spiritual ideals and, later, through the influence of the classics, the rediscovered importance and beauty of the human body?
The essays contained in this volume address these questions, albeit not always directly but, rather, through an analysis of the societal reactions to the threats and challenges that essentially unopposed disease and physical impairment presented. They cover a wide range of responses, variable, of course, according to the period under scrutiny, its technological moment, and the usually fruitless attempts at treatment.
 

CONTENTS:

  • Introduction and Epidemiological Perspective — Rinaldo F. Canalis and Massimo Ciavolella
 

Part I. Medieval and Transitional Periods

 
  • The Art of Medicine in Byzantium: Disease and Disability in Byzantine Manuscripts — Alain Touwaide
  • Miracle and the Monstrous: Disability and Deviant Bodies in the Late Middle Ages — Jenni Kuuliala
  • Leprosy, Melancholy, Folly and their Representations in French Medieval Literature — Gaia Gubini
  • Malady in Literary Texts from the Medieval and Early Modern Periods. Some Hypotheses on a Paradoxical Constellation — Joachim Küpper
  • Fevers, Botches and Carbuncles: Describing the Plague in Late Medieval and Early Modern Medical Treatises — Lori Jones
 

Part II. The Early Modern Period

 
  • The Role of Architecture and the Decorative Arts in Renaissance Medicine — Francis Wells
  • Art in Disease and Disease in Art: Reflections on Two Early Modern Paradigmatic Examples — Manuela Gallerani
  • The Mal Franzoso: Between Art, History and Literature: Paracelso and Della Porta — Alfonso Paolella
  • The Ailing Artist — Roberto Fedi
  • Nicolas Poussin`s The Plague at Ashdod and the French Disease — Efrain Kristal
  • ‘Yet have I in me something dangerous’: On the Interplay of Medicine and Maleficence in Shakespeare’s Hamlet — Sara Frances Burdorff
  • Textures of Lesions – Textures of Prints — Domenico Bertoloni Meli 

 

More info on the editor website

Workshop – Power, Piety and Plague: the Northern Church in the 14th Century, by Medieval Studies Research Group, Lincoln – 22 April

About this Event

The Medieval Studies Research Group (University of Lincoln), The Northern Way, and the Lincoln Record Society invite you to join us for this free, interactive workshop. No experience necessary.

This workshop will explore some of the riches contained within the Registers that were used to record the business of the Archbishops’ of York in the fourteenth century, an era of political turmoil, almost incessant warfare and climatic and public health catastrophes.

‘“The Northern Way”: the Archbishops of York and the North of England, 1304 – 1405’ is an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded research project run by the Borthwick Institute for Archives, University of York, in partnership with The National Archives (TNA). ‘The Northern Way’ seeks to make the content from the 16 Registers for this period, alongside related documents from TNA, more easily searchable and accessible through the development of a digital resource. The workshop will demonstrate how the resource and index can shed light on a range of topics and previously hidden histories about, principally, the North of England but also about the employment and influence of clerks from Lincolnshire in running the diocese of York and the government of England.

You will find out more about Archbishop Melton’s reaction to the, now notorious, Joan of Leeds, a nun from the Priory of St Clements, York. In 1318, with the help of her fellow nuns, Joan faked her own death and buried a dummy of her body, so that she could run away to Beverley and allegedly live a life of ‘carnal lust’. These Registers can provide insights into the religious and political role of the province and its relationship with central government, as well as give fascinating insights into culture, society and piety.

Dr Paul Dryburgh and Dr Marianne Wilson (The Northern Way and Lincoln Record Society)

Link to register