CFP – The Maladies, Miracles and Medicine of the Middle Ages III ‘Patients, Prayers and Pilgrims’ – org. by The Graduate Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Reading – Friday 1 April 2022

HeaIthcare in the Middle Age covered a broad range of practices, influenced by religious and scholarly theories of the body. Patients might look to a range of restorative practices from herbal remedies to more invasive procedures, not to mention charms and prayers. In their search for cure, they might also turn to various healers with practitioners ranging from high-end university-trained physicians, to local wise women, and even the ‘saintly physicians’ whose form of miraculous care emanated from the shrines. Healing could thus be sought through a variety of channels that both complemented and competed against one another.

What can we leam about those who engaged with medieval healthcare? Where do the various forms of healthcare sit in relation to each other and in relation to religious and/or academic understanding of corporeal health? In what ways were the ill and impaired able to access healing, and what form did this take?

Within the third ‘Maladies, Miracles and Medicine’ of this quadrennial series of conferences we invite post-graduate and early-career researchers to come together to consider this theme in relation to health, ill health, and healing. The conference welcomes papers on all aspects of this theme whether your interests lie in archaeology, art, literature, medicine and science, or mireacles and theology (or a little bit of everything).

However, specific themes to consider are:

  • environments and experiences of care and recovery
  • gender in relation to practices and treatments
  • practitioners and particular treatrnents within medieval healthcare
  • pilgrims as ‘patients’, saints as ‘healers’
  • the senses and sensory experiences of ill health and cure
  • birth, death (and everything in between!)
  • healing charms and magical medicine
  • representations and realities of the ill and healthy body

Proposals of 200-words (max.) for twenty-minute papers fitting broadly into one of the above themes are welcomed from all post-graduate and early-career researchers before the deadline 10 January 2022.

Proposals and further enquiries should be sent to the organisers (Dr Ruth Salter, Anne Jeavons, and Claire Collins) via: maladies.miracles.medicine@gmail.com. Full details will be released closer to the date, but we are hoping this will be able to go ahead in person rather than online.


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