Madness, Medicine and Miracle in Twelfth-Century England – Claire Trenery – Routledge

This book explores how madness was defined and diagnosed as a condition of the mind in the Middle Ages and what effects it was thought to have on the bodies, minds and souls of sufferers.

Madness is examined through narratives of miraculous punishment and healing that were recorded at the shrines of saints. This study focuses on the twelfth century, which has been identified as a ‘Medieval Renaissance’: a time of cultural and intellectual change that saw, among other things, the circulation of new medical treatises that brought with them a wealth of new ideas about illness and health. With the expanding authority of the Roman Church and the tightening of papal control over canonisation procedures in this period, historians have claimed that there was a ‘rationalisation’ of the miraculous. In miracle records, illnesses were explained using newly-accessible humoral theories rather than attributed to divine and demonic forces, as they had been previously.

The first book-length study of madness in medieval religion and medicine to be published since 1992, this book challenges these claims and reveals something of the limitations of the so-called ‘medicalisation’ of the miraculous. Throughout the twelfth century, demons continue to lurk in miracle records relating to one condition in particular: madness. Five case studies of miracle collections compiled between 1070 and 1220 reveal that hagiographical representations of madness were heavily influenced by the individual circumstances of their recording and yet were shaped as much by hagiographical patterns that had been developing throughout the twelfth century as they were by new medical and theological standards.

List of tables

Introduction

  1. Protection and punishment in the miracles of Saint Edmund the Martyr at Bury
  2. Managing the mad: violence, cruelty and restraint in the miracles of William of Norwich
  3. Medical madness? Diagnosing the mad in the miracles of Saint Thomas Becket
  4. Demonic disturbances in the miracles of Saint Bartholomew in London
  5. Balance and health: restoring sanity in the miracles of Saint Hugh of Lincoln

Conclusion

Claire Trenery completed her PhD at Royal Holloway, University of London in 2017. She specialises in the history of madness and medicine, focusing on the twelfth century and the cultural and intellectual climate that accompanied the development of Scholastic learning in Western Europe. She has published articles on medieval madness, with particular attention to the impact of madness on the bodies, minds and souls of sufferers.

Infos from the editor website

CFP – International Piers Plowman Society – Miami April 4 – 6 , 2019

Call for Papers – International Piers Plowman Society

Meeting Miami, April 4 – 6 , 2019 – Due Date for Submissions: September 7 , 2018

 

7. Medicine and the Body in Piers Plowman : A Roundtable

Organizer, Laura Godfrey, University of Connecticut (la ra.godfrey@uconn.edu)

Scholars have traditionally read the medical language, characters, and practices in Piers Plowman as symbolic of salvation, reducing actual medical practice to metaphor and symbolism. Recent scholarly turns to the body recenter the body in literary texts through attention to the somatic experiences described through allegory, satire, and personification. This roundtable invites papers that interrogate illness and remedy, the body and embodiment, the senses, and the theory and practice of medicine in Piers Plowman and alliterative poetry.

 

16 . Disability in the Age of Piers Plowman

Organizer: Rick Godden, Louisiana State University (rgodden1@lsu.edu)

This session will explore the representations of disability and impairment in the fourteen th century, especially withi n Piers Plowman or related texts. Langland reveals the fourteenth century’s ambivalent and multifaceted attitude toward disability and impairment. Characters in the poe m often treat disabled figures with either love or skepticism. On one hand, those who are too infirm to work are excused from the demands of labor, and are deemed worthy of charity and God’s love. On the other, there are “faitours” who readily assume the g uise of impairment in order to deceive and evade the duty to work. Will himself is interrogated by Reason in the C – Text about his inability to work, and he cites his own embodied difference, being too tall, as a justification. This session invites papers that examine disability in medieval literature from a variety of methodological approaches. Are there different representations of disability across the versions of Piers Plowman ? How do representations of disability in the poem intersect with legal, theol ogical, or social concerns in the fourteenth century? How do writers contemporary to Langland treat disability? What is the role of physical, cognitive, or s omatic impairment in the poem? How can we put the poem into conversation with Disability Studies? How does a consideration of disability in Piers Plowman reorient or contribute to current work on Langland? To medieval Disability Studies?

 

More info on the conference’s website

CFP – The Body and the Text: Medical Humanities and Medieval Literature, c. 1150 – 1550 Leeds International Medieval Congress, 1-4 July 2019

The Body and the Text: Medical Humanities and Medieval Literature, c. 1150 – 1550

Leeds International Medieval Congress, 1-4 July 2019

Recent years have witnessed a surge in scholarship in the field of the Medical Humanities. In considering medicine in its cultural and social contexts, the Medical Humanities has symbolised a ‘paradigm shift away from what might be called medical reductionism to medical holism, where patients are not reduced to diseases and bodies but rather are seen as whole persons in contexts and in relations’ (Cole et al, 2015:8). In seeking to merge disciplines and foster interactive dialogues, this area of research is inherently inclusive, dynamic, and elastic. Furthermore, since the topics of science, medicine, eith physiology, religion, astrology, and magic were often discussed withinh the same medieval texts and contexts, te multidisciplinarity of the Medical Humanities is particularly apt for Medieval Studies.

We therefore seek to put together a session or sessions on Medieval Literature and the Medical Humanities. Our focus is global and will include proposals from two complementary directions: how are medicine, health and wellbeing represented in medieval and early modern literature? How may literary texts from this period contribute to training and practice in the Medical Humanities?

Proposals may include but are not confined to the following: Representations of health and sickness in literary texts;

  • Depictions of medical knowledge, practice and practitioners in literary texts;
  • Representations of the senses and / or emotions;
  • The relationship between medicine and religion in the Middle Ages;
  • Engagement with texts (reading and listening) as a therapeutic practice in the Middle Ages;
  • A consideration of how medieval literature might contribute to training and practice in the Medical Humanities;
  • Defining the Medical Humanities in a medieval context.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be submitted to the session organisers Dr Alison Williams (a.j.williams@swansea…uk) and It Laura Kalas Williams (I.e.williams@swansea.ac.uk) by 31 August 2018.

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.

CFP – IMCS Kalamazoo 2019 – The Society for the Study of Disability in the Middle Ages propose 3 themes: Medieval Disability and Pedagogy – Intersections of Race and Disability in the Global Middle Ages – Disability and Public Scholarship.

The Society for the Study of Disability in the Middle Ages Invites Proposals for the International Congress on Medieval StudiesMay 9-12 2019, Kalamazoo, MI

 

Medieval Disability and Pedagogy (a roundtable)

Contributors will discuss the ways in which disability has informed approaches to instruction, how to unite disability pedagogy and scholarship, possible texts for inclusion in the classroom, and selected assignments and activities that involve the medieval disability perspective. Participants will share practical ideas for effective activities, assignments, and readings.

 

Intersections of Race and Disability in the Global Middle Ages (a session of papers)

In this session, contributors will offer papers that explore the intersections between race and disability in the Middle Ages. We particularly seek approaches that consider non-Western, inter-disciplinary perspectives.

 

Disability and Public Scholarship (a session of papers)

In this session, participants will discuss the responsibilities of medieval disability studies to engage in public scholarship, how we can share our own public scholarship, and the ways that we as medieval disability studies scholars can be more active in public scholarship in order to support the value of our research.

Please send 250-word abstracts along with completed Participant Information Form to Tory Pearman at pearmatv@miamioh.edu by September 15.

Because medieval disability studies should pursue inclusive and intersectional scholarship, the SSDMA is committed to including perspectives representative of the diversity of the field and to amplifying voices that are too often marginalized by systemic discrimination in academic employment, publishing, funding, and conference programming

 

More infos on the organisator’s website !