New publication – Coming soon : “Living with Disfigurement in Early Medieval Europe” by Patricia Skinner

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Living with Disfigurement in Early Medieval Europe

by Patricia Skinner

This book examines social and medical responses to the disfigured face in early medieval Europe, arguing that the study of head and facial injuries can offer a new contribution to the history of early medieval medicine and culture, as well as exploring the language of violence and social interactions. Despite the prevalence of warfare and conflict in early medieval society, and a veritable industry of medieval historians studying it, there has in fact been very little attention paid to the subject of head wounds and facial damage in the course of war and/or punitive justice. The impact of acquired disfigurement —for the individual, and for her or his family and community—is barely registered, and only recently has there been any attempt to explore the question of how damaged tissue and bone might be treated medically or surgically. In the wake of new work on disability and the emotions in the medieval period, this study documents how acquired disfigurement is recorded across different geographical and chronological contexts in the period.

About the author: Patricia Skinner is Research Professor in Arts and Humanities at Swansea University, UK. She is the Director of the Effaced from History project, sponsored by the Wellcome Trust, and has previously published books on gender, medicine, and health, in addition to the social history of southern Italy.

Review (on the ditor website): “In this uncommonly refreshing contribution to the vibrant historical discourse on marginalisation, Skinner engages with current concerns beyond her chronological and thematic focus, while eschewing anachronism and reductionism. With ample evidence and spirited argument, she challenges widespread generalisations about past attitudes—and exposes persistent prejudices—towards the physically different.” (Luke Demaitre, Visiting Professor, Center for Biomedical Ethics and Humanities, University of Virginia, and author of “Leprosy in Premodern Medicine: A Malady of the Whole Body”)

Table of contents

 

  • Introduction: Writing and Reading About Medieval Disfigurement

  • The Face, Honor and “Face”

  • Disfigurement, Authority and the Law

  • Stigma and Disfigurement: Putting on a Brave Face?

  • Defacing Women: The Gendering of Disfigurement

 

 

More infos on the editor’s website

 

19è rendez-vous de l’Histoire de Blois – Table Ronde 2016-10-06, 14h30 à 16h – L’histoire du handicap

Cartes blanches Table Ronde

2016-10-06, 14h30 – 16h Conseil départemental, Salle Kléber-Loustau

L’histoire du handicap

 

Cette table ronde vise à débattre des avancées historiographiques dans le champ de l’histoire du handicap. Plusieurs historiens spécialistes du handicap identifieront les apports des recherches effectuées pendant les décennies précédentes, les tendances de la recherche actuelle, et les chantiers de recherche à ouvrir.

Modérateurs

Gildas BREGAIN

Docteur en histoire, post-Doctorant IRIS/EHESS

 

Intervenants

Christophe CAPUANO

Maître de conférences en histoire contemporaine à l’université de Lyon

Mariama KABA

Docteure en histoire, responsable de recherche à l’Institut universitaire d’histoire de la médecine et de la santé publique à Lausanne

Caroline HUSQUIN

Agrégée d’histoire, doctorante en histoire romaine, ATER à l’Université de Bretagne-Sud

Plus d’informations ici

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