New book – Tiffany A. Ziegler : Medieval Healthcare and the Rise of Charitable Institutions: The History of the Municipal Hospital (Palgrave, October 2018)

Medieval Healthcare and the Rise of Charitable Institutions: The History of the Municipal Hospital examines the development of medieval institutions of care, beginning with a survey of the earliest known hospitals in ancient times to the classical period, to the early Middle Ages, and finally to the explosion of hospitals in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. For Western Christian medieval societies, institutional charity was a necessity set forth by the religion’s dictums—care for the needy and sick was a tenant of the faith, leading to a unique partnership between Christianity and institutional care that would expand into the fledging hospitals of the early Modern period. In this study, the hospital of Saint John in Brussels serves as an example of the developments. The institution followed the pattern of the establishment of medieval charitable institutions in the high Middle Ages, but diverged to become an archetype for later Christian hospitals.


More infos on the editor website

CFP – Afflicted Bodies, Affected Societies: Disease and Wellness in Historical Perspective – 5th Annual Symposium, Department of History, Seton Hall University

The year 2018 marks the centennial of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic, one of the deadliest outbreaks of disease in recorded history. To acknowledge the social impact of illness on humanity, the History Department at Seton Hall University will host a two-day symposium on disease and wellness in historical perspective. Some of the questions we seek to investigate over the course of this symposium are as follows: How have notions of illness and wellness changed over time? In what ways have medical progress and discovery been shaped by wars and natural disasters? How did regimes of hygiene fashion social hierarchies or imperial policy? What have been the social, political, and economic consequences of the diseased body and/or mind in various societies? How do civilizations conceptualize disease and miracles within faith practices? How do public health and issues of social justice intersect?

Some additional topics for research papers include the following:

  • Medicine, war, and natural disasters
  • Medical progress, discovery, and vaccines
  • Colonial diseases and medicines
  • Traditional practices and practitioners
  • Professionalization of medicine
  • Cultural representations of health care
  • Saints, shamans, and spiritual dimensions of health
  • Gender dynamics of health
  • Disease and persecution
  • Drugs and addiction
  • Trauma and mental health

The symposium will be held on Thursday and Friday, 7-8 February. A keynote address by Alan Kraut, Professor of History at the American University, will open the symposium on Thursday, 7 February. The second day of the symposium will consist of panels and a roundtable discussion. The symposium will be held at the South Orange, New Jersey campus of Seton Hall University, about a half hour outside of New York City.

We welcome proposals from scholars from all fields interested in the historical implications of disease and wellness including history, literary studies, anthropology, and religion, from the ancient to modern period. Advanced graduate students, early career scholars, and senior researchers are encouraged to apply. Please send a single document containing 1) a title and an abstract of up to 250 words and 2) a short (one-paragraph) biography, to setonhallhistorysymposium@gmail.com by Monday, 19 November, 2018.

Seton Hall will provide two-nights of accommodations for all invited participants coming from outside the New York City/Northern New Jersey area, as well as meals for all invited panelists. Travel funding may also be available on a case-by-case basis.

Contact Info:
Please feel free to contact Anne Giblin Gedacht at anne.gedacht@shu.edu, or Golbarg Rekabtalaei at golbarg.rekabtalaei@shu.edu, with any questions. For more information about History at Seton Hall, please visit our website, https://www.shu.edu/history/.

CFP – “Disability and the Medieval Cults of Saints: Interdisciplinary and Intersectional Approaches” – edited volume by Stephanie Grace-Petinos, Leah Pope Parker, and Alicia Spencer-Hall

CFP: Disability and the Medieval Cults of Saints: Interdisciplinary and Intersectional Approaches
Discussion published by Massimo Rondolino on Friday, July 27, 2018
Editors: Stephanie Grace-Petinos, Leah Pope Parker, and Alicia Spencer-Hall
We invite abstract submissions for 7,500-word essays to be included in an edited volume on the topic of Disability and the Medieval Cults of Saints. Because saints’ cults in the Middle Ages centralized the body—those of the saints themselves, those of devotees, and the idea of the body on earth and in the afterlife—scholars of medieval disability frequently find that our best sources are those that also deal with saints and sanctity. This volume therefore seeks to foster and assemble a wide range of approaches to disability in the context of medieval saints’ cults. We seek contributions spanning a variety of fields, including history, literature, art history, archaeology, material culture, histories of science and medicine, religious history, etc. We especially encourage contributions that extend beyond Roman Christianity (including non-Christian concepts of sanctity) and that extend beyond Europe/the West.
For the purposes of this volume, we define “disability” as broadly including physical impairment, diversity of bodily forms, chronic illness, neurodiversity (mental illness, cognitive impairment, etc), sensory impairment, and any other variation in bodily form or ability that affected medieval individuals’ role and treatment in their communities. We are open to topics spanning the medieval period both temporally and geographically, but also inclusive of late antiquity and the early modern era. The editors envision essays falling into three units: saints with disabilities; saints interacting with disability; and theorizing sanctity/disability.
We welcome proposals on topics including, but not limited to:
· Phenomenology of saints’ cults with respect to disability, e.g. pilgrimage, feast days, liturgy, etc;
· Materiality of sanctity involved in reliquaries, shrines, and relics;
· Doctrinal approaches to disability in relation to sanctity and holiness;
· Sanctity and bodies in the archaeological record;
· Intersections of disability and race/gender/sexuality/etc in hagiography, art, and material culture;
· Healing miracles and disabling miraculous punishments;
· Cross-cultural approaches to sanctity and disability;
· Saints who wrote about disability;
· Specific saints with connections to concepts of disability, e.g. Margaret of Antioch, Cosmas and Damian, Francis of Assisi, Dymphna, etc;
· Theorizing sanctity in relation to disability; and
· Saintly figures in non-hagiographic genres.
Timeline
Oct. 1, 2018 Proposals due
Oct. 31, 2018 Replies sent to proposals
Nov. 30, 2018 Volume proposal submitted to press (contributors will provide short abstracts and bios)
May 31, 2019 Essays due from contributors
Aug. 30, 2019 Editors deliver extensive feedback to contributors
Jan. 15, 2020 Revised essays due from contributors
April 3, 2020 Full volume manuscript delivered to press
Please submit abstracts of 300–400 words, along with a short author bio and a description of any images you anticipate wanting to include in your essay, to the editors at DisabilitySanctity@gmail.com by Monday, October 1, 2018.

New Book – Poison, Medicine, and Disease in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe, by Frederick W Gibbs

Poison, Medicine, and Disease in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe

Frederick W Gibbs

 

Features (from the editor website)

Challenges the standard histories of toxicology

Multi-faceted and innovative approach

Brings new perspectives to the study of the history of medicine

Summary (from the editor website)

This book presents a uniquely broad and pioneering history of premodern toxicology by exploring how late medieval and early modern (c. 1200–1600) physicians discussed the relationship between poison, medicine, and disease. Drawing from a wide range of medical and natural philosophical texts—with an emphasis on treatises that focused on poison, pharmacotherapeutics, plague, and the nature of disease—this study brings to light premodern physicians’ debates about the potential existence, nature, and properties of a category of substance theoretically harmful to the human body in even the smallest amount. Focusing on the category of poison (venenum) rather than on specific drugs reframes and remixes the standard histories of toxicology, pharmacology, and etiology, as well as shows how these aspects of medicine (although not yet formalized as independent disciplines) interacted with and shaped one another. Physicians argued, for instance, about what properties might distinguish poison from other substances, how poison injured the human body, the nature of poisonous bodies, and the role of poison in spreading, and to some extent defining, disease. The way physicians debated these questions shows that poison was far from an obvious and uncontested category of substance, and their effort to understand it sheds new light on the relationship between natural philosophy and medicine in the late medieval and early modern periods.

Call for papers – Messy Bodies: An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Body in Pre-Modern Culture – ICMS – May 9-12, 2019

Messy Bodies: An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Body in Pre-Modern Culture.

Call for papers
54th ICMS | May 9-12, 2019

Following our end-of-the-year symposium, the Medieval and Renaissance Graduate Interdisciplinary Network welcomes papers for our two sessions on Messy Bodies: An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Body in Pre-Modern Culture.

Messy bodies are all of our bodies. Once we take a good look at them, it becomes clear that the instantly legible body is nothing more than a construct. Bodies resist categorization, they push against their own boundaries, they complicate our understanding of medieval and Renaissance subjectivity and individuality; ultimately, they show how we—modern scholars—still need to consider what constitutes the often radicalized or gendered body. They remind us that no “body” may be taken as a given, requiring (even while confounding) construction in discourse, images, and other media.
On the one hand, we are particularly interested in the ways in which the psychological, emotional, and sensorial potentials of the human body express themselves semiotically and semantically. On the other, we want to explore what constitutes human or non-human bodies, following discussions on materiality, animal studies, and critical theory.
We envision our double session as a forum for discussion that engages with premodern bodies as physical and symbolic entities that both stand for and disrupt prescriptive discourses on bodily and social functions, including sexuality, and political participation. Following our mission to foster collaboration across disciplines, we welcome submissions from all fields, from any and all areas of the globe.

Submissions may focus on topics including, but not limited, to:

  • humoral and medical theories and practices queer and trans* bodies
    critical race theory
  • disability studies
  • object-bodies and objectified-bodies
  • post-humanisms (including considerations of ontology, networks, animal studies, and cybernetics)
  • pre-, early-, and post-modern theories of embodiment, subjectivity, and agency
  • violence to the body
  • dynamics of mind, body, and soul
  • modern responses to pre-modern bodies (in film, art, literature)

Please submit a 200-word abstract with a short bio (.pdf or .docx preferred) to nyumargin@gmail.com with “Kalamazoo submission” in the subject line, by September 15. Questions can also be addressed to the same e-mail. Abstracts not accepted to our sessions will be forwarded to the IMCS for consideration in general sessions.