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

News ! – Call for proposal – Serie « Mental Health in Historical Perspective » ed. by Palgrave MacMillan

Mental Health in Historical Perspective

Editors : Coleborne, C. (Ed), Smith, M. (Ed)

Covering all historical periods and geographical contexts, the series explores how mental illness has been understood, experienced, diagnosed, treated and contested. It will publish works that engage actively with contemporary debates related to mental health and, as such, will be of interest not only to historians, but also mental health professionals, patients and policy makers. With its focus on mental health, rather than just psychiatry, the series will endeavour to provide more patient-centred histories. Although this has long been an aim of health historians, it has not been realised, and this series aims to change that. The scope of the series is kept as broad as possible to attract good quality proposals about all aspects of the history of mental health from all periods.
The series emphasises interdisciplinary approaches to the field of study, and encourages short titles, longer works, collections, and titles which stretch the boundaries of academic publishing in new ways.

New publications – Infirmity in Antiquity and the Middle Ages, Social and Cultural Approaches to Health, Weakness and Care

 See original image

Infirmity in Antiquity and the Middle Ages

Social and Cultural Approaches to Health, Weakness and Care

By Christian Krötzl, Katariina Mustakallio and jenni Kuuliala

This volume discusses infirmitas (’infirmity’ or ’weakness’) in ancient and medieval societies. It concentrates on the cultural, social and domestic aspects of physical and mental illness, impairment and health, and also examines frailty as a more abstract, cultural construct. It seeks to widen our understanding of how physical and mental well-being and weakness were understood and constructed in the longue durée from antiquity to the Middle Ages. The chapters are written by experts from a variety of disciplines, including archaeology, art history and philology, and pay particular attention to the differences of experience due to gender, age and social status. The book opens with chapters on the more theoretical aspects of pre-modern infirmity and disability, moving on to discuss different types of mental and cultural infirmities, including those with positive connotations, such as medieval stigmata. The last section of the book discusses infirmity in everyday life from the perspective of healing, medicine and care.

Table of content

Preface;
Introduction: Infirmitas in Antiquity and the Middle Ages, Christian Krötzl, Katariina Mustakallio and Jenni Kuuliala.
I Defining Infirmity and Disability:
Age, agency and disability: Suetonius and the emperors of the first century CE, Mary Harlow and Ray Laurence;
Infirmitas or Not? Short-statured persons in ancient Greece, Véronique Dasen;
Performing dis/ability? Constructions of ‘infirmity’ in late medieval and early modern life writing, Bianca Frohne;
Nobility, community and physical impairment in later medieval canonization processes, Jenni Kuuliala;
Towards a glossary of melancholy, depression and psychological distress in ancient Roman culture, Donatella Puliga.
II Societal and Cultural Infirmitas:
The crusader’s Stigmata. True crusading and the wounds of Christ in the crusade ideology of the 13th century, Miikka Tamminen;
Illness, self-inflicted body pain and supernatural stigmata: three ways of identification with the suffering body of Christ, Gábor Klaniczay;
Imagery of disease, poison and healing in the late 14th-century polemics against Waldensian heresy, Reima Välimäki;
Infirmitas Romana and its cure – Livy’s history therapy in the Ab urbe condita, Katariina Mustakallio and Elina Pyy.
III Infirmity, Healing and Community:
From Mithridatium to Potio sancti Pauli: The idea of a medicine from Antiquity to the Middle Ages, Svetlana Hautala;
Alternative medicine in pre-Roman and republican Italy: sacred springs, curative baths and ‘votive religion’, Alison Griffith;
Bathing the infirm: water basins in Roman iconography and household contexts, Ria Berg; Sexual incapacity in medieval materia medica, Susanna Niiranen;
Miracles and the body social: Infirmi in the middle Dutch miracle collection of Our Lady of Amersfoort, Jonas Van Mulder;
Saints, healing and communities in the later Middle Ages: on roles and perceptions, Christian Krötzl.

 

More informations on Routledge website.