Colloquium – Asclepius, the Paintbrush, and the Pen: Representations of Disease in Medieval and Early Modern European Art and Literature – May 4/5 – CMRS Medical Humanities Conference (UCLA)

CMRS Medical Humanities Conference

Asclepius, the Paintbrush, and the Pen: Representations of Disease in Medieval and Early Modern European Art and Literature

May 4May 5

Humanity has always approached disease with a mixture of curiosity and dread. Medieval and early modern people were no exception, displaying a deep fascination with virulent ailments and all sorts of physical deformities. But despite this a attraction, few artists of these eras engaged in the depiction of disease. When they did, their expression was particular to the medium used and differed among artists even when using the same medium. Since such an effort was outside their norm, what factors drove them to pick up pen or brush to approach maladies as a subject of esthetic expression? How did the artists’ experiences influence their choices in portraying disease? Were these depictions the result of something that interfered with their intent to faithfully reproduce the best of nature, or do they reflect a rebellion against what we generally assume to be the period`s artistic and literary quest: the portrayal of spiritual beauty and, later, the rediscovered beauty of the human body?

This conference, organized by Professor Massimo Ciavolella (Italian, UCLA) and Professor Rinaldo Canalis, MD (David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA), engages these questions and the contemporary perspective they elicit.

Funding for this symposium is provided by the Endowment for the UCLA Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies.

 

SATURDAY, MAY 5, 2018 | UCLA ROYCE HALL 314
8:30 AM Registration, coffee
9:00 Welcoming Remarks
Session I | Allison Collins (UCLA), chair
9:15 Francis Wells (Royal Papworth Hospital, Cambridge)
“The Role of the Decorative Arts in Disease”
10:00 Break
10:15 Joachim Küpper (Freie Universität Berlin)
“Malady in Literary Texts from the Medieval and the Early Modern Periods – Some Hypotheses On a Paradoxical Constellation”
11:00 Break
11:15 Gaia Gubbini (Freie Universität Berlin)
“Leprosy, Melancholy, Folly, and their Representations in Medieval French Literature”
12:00 PM Break
12:15 Alain Touwaide (UCLA, The Huntington, and Institute for the Preservation of Medical Traditions )
“The Art of Medicine in Byzantium: Disease and Disability in Byzantine Manuscripts”
1:00 Lunch Break
Session II | Rinaldo Canalis (UCLA), chair
2:15 Domenico Bertoloni Meli (Indiana University Bloomington)
“Textures of Lesions – Textures of Prints”
3:00 Break
3:15 Manuela Gallerani (Università di Bologna)
“Illness in art and art in illness: reflections based on paradigmatic works by Italian Renaissance artists”
4:00 Break
4:15 Sara Frances Burdorff (UCLA)
“‘Yet have I in me something dangerous’: Demonopathy, the Pox, and the Melancholy Dane in Shakespeare’s Hamlet
SATURDAY, MAY 5, 2018 | UCLA ROYCE HALL 314
9:00 Coffee
Session III | Monique Kornell (CMRS Associate), chair
9:30 Valeria Finucci (Duke University)
“The King and the Art of Brain Surgery”
10:15 Break
10:30 Alfonso Paolella (University of Naples)
“The ‘mal franzoso’ between art, history and literature. Paracelso and Della Porta”
11:15 Break
11:30 Efraín Kristal (UCLA)
“Nicolas Poussin’s ‘The Plague at Ashdod’ and the French Disease”
12:15 Lunch Break
Session IV | Guendalina Ajello Mahler (CMRS Associate )
1:30 Jenni Kuuliala (University of Tampere)
“Miracle and the Monstrous: Disability and Deviant Bodies in the Late Middle Ages”
2:15 Break
2:30 Lori Jones (University of Ottawa)
“‘Fevers, Botches, and Carbuncles’: Describing the Plague in Late Medieval and Early Modern Medical Treatises”
3:15 Break
3:30 Roberto Fedi (Università per Stranieri di Perugia)
“The Ailing Artist”
4:15 Concluding Remarks

 

Portraits of Human Monsters in the Renaissance – Dwarves, Hirsutes, and Castrati as Idealized Anatomical Anomalies by Touba Ghadessi

Portraits of Human Monsters in the Renaissance – Dwarves, Hirsutes, and Castrati as Idealized Anatomical Anomalies

by Touba Ghadessi

publication by Medieval Institute Publications

From the editors website :

At the center of this interdisciplinary study are court monsters–dwarves, hirsutes, and misshapen individuals–who, by their very presence, altered Renaissance ethics vis-à-vis anatomical difference, social virtues, and scientific knowledge. The study traces how these monsters evolved from objects of curiosity, to scientific cases, to legally independent beings. The works examined here point to the intricate cultural, religious, ethical, and scientific perceptions of monstrous individuals who were fixtures in contemporary courts.

 

More infos from the Editors website.

 

CFP – Society for the Social History of Medicine Conference 2018 – Conformity, Resistance, Dialogue and Deviance in Health and Medicine Liverpool, 11-13 July 2018.

Society for the Social History of Medicine Conference 2018

Conformity, Resistance, Dialogue and Deviance in Health and Medicine

Liverpool, 11-13 July 2018

Hosted by The Centre for the Humanities and Social Sciences of Health, Medicine and Technology

The Society for the Social History of Medicine hosts a major, biennial, international, and interdisciplinary conference, and from 11-13 July 2018 it will meet in Liverpool to explore the theme of ‘Conformity, Resistance, Dialogue and Deviance in Health and Medicine’.

This broad theme plays on several levels. It reflects local Liverpool health heritage as a site of public health innovation; independent and at times radical approaches to health politics, health inequalities, health determinants, treatment and therapies (including technological innovation, community and collective practices, and the use of arts in health).

Call for Papers

Upcoming SSHM Events

The Society for the Social History of Medicine hosts a major biennial, international, and interdisciplinary conference. From 11-13 July 2018 it will meet in Liverpool to explore the theme of ‘Conformity, Resistance, Dialogue and Deviance in Health and Medicine’.

This broad theme plays on several levels. It reflects local Liverpool health heritage as a site of public health innovation; independent and at times radical approaches to health politics, health inequalities, health determinants, treatment and therapies (including technological innovation, community and collective practices, and the use of arts in health).

We envisage that this conference theme will also stimulate participants to think about how medical orthodoxy has been shaped and re-molded, and how patients and practitioners choose to conform to conventional practices, seek alternatives, resist or compromise. The theme further facilitates a transnational conference strand, examining the construction of, and attitudes towards, Western and other medical traditions and health systems. In light of this theme, the 2018 conference committee encourages papers, sessions, round-tables and other interventions that examine, challenge, and refine histories of conformity, resistance, dialogue and deviance in medicine and health. These might be set in relation to inclusions, exclusions and injustices; insiders, outsiders and mediators; peoples, places and cultures; and diverse and expanding new social histories of health and medicine.

But the biennial conference is not exclusive in terms of its theme, and reflects the diversity of the discipline of the social history of medicine. Proposals that consider all topics relevant to histories of health and medicine broadly conceived are invited. Nor are submissions restricted to any area of study: we welcome a range of disciplinary approaches, time periods and geographical contexts. Submissions from scholars across the range of career stages are most welcome, and especially from postgraduate and early career researchers.

Possible topics include:

  • Health and medicine in colonial, postcolonial and transnational contexts
  • The political economy of health and medicine
  • Theories and practices of conformity and deviancy in health and medicine
  • New ways of framing working within the social history of medicine
  • Radical politics and resistance to dominant medical knowledge and practice
  • Critical theory and social movements such as feminist, postcolonial, disability and queer theory and activism in relation to health and medicine
  • Relations between different cultures of health and medicine
  • Inequalities of health and medical care
  • Public health
  • The environment and health
  • Animals, disease and health
  • Work and health
  • Arts and health
  • Popular representations of health and medicine

Individual submissions should include a 250 word abstract, including five key words and a one paragraph CV/resume with contact information.
Panel submissions should include three papers (each with a 250 word abstract, including five key words and a short CV), a chair, and a 100-word panel abstract.
Round table submissions should include the names of four participants (each with a short CV), a chair, a 500-word abstract and five key words.
We also invite poster presentations, short films and ideas for new sessions.

Deadline for Proposals
Friday 2 February 2018
sshm2018@liverpool.ac.uk

Bursaries

The Society offers bursaries to assist students in meeting the financial costs of attending the conference. Find out more and how to apply here.

CFP: Representing Infirmity: Diseased Bodies in Renaissance and Early Modern Italy – Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies – Monash University Centre in Prato

CFP: Representing Infirmity: Diseased Bodies in Renaissance and Early Modern Italy

Students currently enrolled in a Master’s or Doctoral program are invited to submit a project for “Representing Infirmity: Diseased Bodies in Renaissance and Early Modern Italy,” an international conference to be held at the Monash University Centre in Prato on December 13-15, 2017. The event is organized by John Henderson (Birkbeck, University of London and Monash University), a historian of medicine, Fredrika Jacobs (Virginia Commonwealth University) and Jonathan Nelson (Syracuse University in Florence), both historians of art, and Peter Howard (Monash University, Melbourne), a historian and Director of the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Monash (Melbourne and Prato).

The conference will be the first to explore how diseased bodies were represented in Italy during the ‘long Renaissance,’ from the early 1400s through ca. 1650. Many individual studies by historians of art and the history of medicine address specific aspects of this subject, yet there has never been an attempt to define or explore the broader topic. Moreover, most studies interpret Renaissance images and texts through the lens of current under-tandings about disease. This conference avoids the pitfalls of retrospective diagnosis. Accordingly, proposed projects should look beyond the modern category of ‘disease’ to view ‘infirmity’ in Galenic humoural terms.

The event begins with a keynote lecture by John Henderson on December 13, followed by two days of papers by (in alphabetical order): Sheila Barker, Danielle Carrabino, Peter Howard, Fredrika Jacobs, Jenni Kuuliala, Jonathan Nelson, Diana Bullen Presciutti, Paolo Savoia, Michael Stolberg, and Evelyn Welch. For topics, see below.

Graduate students are invited to participate in the ‘poster session.’ Selection will begin on 15 August 2017. Grant recipients will produce a PDF for a poster that illustrates one aspect of how infirmity was represented in Renaissance Italy. The poster will be exhibited at the Monash Prato Centre, and an electronic version will be posted on the conference webpage. During the conference, students will give short presentations of their work. These junior colleagues are invited to all meals, and encouraged to participate in discussions; they may be invited to submit their paper for publication in the acts of the conference. Students will be provided with up to $500 for economy transportation, plus hotel and meals in Prato for the three-day event. Given the terms of this grant, priority will be given to US students and students in US programs, but all students are encouraged to apply.

Applicants must be currently enrolled in a Doctoral or a research-based Master’s program. Applications should be sent via email to Infirmity2017@gmail.com, and must include the following:

  1. Academic Summary (university level only): a) name and address of current institution, b) title of program, c) short description of thesis (ca. 200 words), d) expected date of completion, e) name and address of advisor, and f) name and address of second academic or professional reference.
  2. Professional Summary: a list of relevant work experience and/or publications.
  3. Proposal: title, and short description (ca. 200 words). Proposals should address one the following topics:
    • What infirmities are depicted in visual culture, in what context, why, and when?
    • How did the idea and representations of infirmities change over the 15th-17th centuries?
    • How, did awareness of new diseases in this period inform the visual representation of infirmity?
    • How did these representations change across media (altarpieces, sculptures, votive images, prints, book illustrations)?
    • What was the relationship between images and texts, principally medical, religious, and literary?
    • How and why did representations of infirmity differ in popular versus learned texts?

The Conference is organized by Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Monash University Prato, as part of the “Body in the City Arts Focus Research Program.”

Funding for graduate students is provided by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, administered through Syracuse University.

 

See the CFP in its original environment

Call for Papers – Medieval Association of the Pacific Conference 2017 – “Collecting the Monstrous”

Call for Papers
Medieval Association of the Pacific Conference 2017
MEARCSTAPA Proposed Session
NEW DEADLINE

Collecting the Monstrous

Medieval and early modern history, art, and literature often depict collections of strange, uncanny, or monstrous things. Bestiaries sometimes depict exotic animals or monstrous, composite creatures; those in the relic trade (such as Chaucer’s Pardoner) boasted collections of relics and other “miraculous” items, some of which were gruesome. Monastic houses and churches guarded proudly their (supposedly authentic) relics and other collections of ephemera, and developed sensational and shocking stories about these objects. Witch hunters and Inquisitors of the early modern period sometimes kept macabre souvenirs of those they interrogated, such as purported pacts with the devil, witch bottles, and other types of physical “evidence” of hexes or spells. Such collections both contributed to and inhibited the development of early modern antiquarianism in the period 1500-1700.

What is the belief system or thought process behind the accumulation of objects that are “othered” by an association with the uncanny or monstrous? What spiritual or psychological effects were they meant to have on their collectors and their beholders? The issue of authenticity is problematic, as strange beasts in bestiaries, relics for sale, confiscated satanic accoutrements and objects at the center of a church’s strange story were usually not genuine. What relationship did medieval and early modern collectors of objects have with the concept of authenticity when it came to the collection of objects considered to be uncanny or macabre? How do their attitudes about authenticity affect those of the 21st century scholar of medieval and early modern studies? What are the challenges of communicating the accumulation of uncanny or monstrous collections of objects to students? Moreover, what are modern scholars to do with such objects when they turn up in museums, churches, or universities? The precursors to our modern museums were early modern cabinets of curiosity, filled with strange and wondrous curios from throughout the world. How do these origins linger in present institutions? MEARCSTAPA seeks papers that examine the collecting of items that are considered uncanny, preternatural, or monstrous in medieval or early modern history, art, or literature in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, or Asia.

Please send proposals of 300 words by October 29, 2017 to Thea Tomaini at tmtomaini@gmail.com and Asa Simon Mittman at asmittman@mail.csuchico.edu.

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