CFP – The Maladies, Miracles and Medicine of the Middle Ages III ‘Patients, Prayers and Pilgrims’ – org. by The Graduate Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Reading – Friday 1 April 2022

HeaIthcare in the Middle Age covered a broad range of practices, influenced by religious and scholarly theories of the body. Patients might look to a range of restorative practices from herbal remedies to more invasive procedures, not to mention charms and prayers. In their search for cure, they might also turn to various healers with practitioners ranging from high-end university-trained physicians, to local wise women, and even the ‘saintly physicians’ whose form of miraculous care emanated from the shrines. Healing could thus be sought through a variety of channels that both complemented and competed against one another.

What can we leam about those who engaged with medieval healthcare? Where do the various forms of healthcare sit in relation to each other and in relation to religious and/or academic understanding of corporeal health? In what ways were the ill and impaired able to access healing, and what form did this take?

Within the third ‘Maladies, Miracles and Medicine’ of this quadrennial series of conferences we invite post-graduate and early-career researchers to come together to consider this theme in relation to health, ill health, and healing. The conference welcomes papers on all aspects of this theme whether your interests lie in archaeology, art, literature, medicine and science, or mireacles and theology (or a little bit of everything).

However, specific themes to consider are:

  • environments and experiences of care and recovery
  • gender in relation to practices and treatments
  • practitioners and particular treatrnents within medieval healthcare
  • pilgrims as ‘patients’, saints as ‘healers’
  • the senses and sensory experiences of ill health and cure
  • birth, death (and everything in between!)
  • healing charms and magical medicine
  • representations and realities of the ill and healthy body

Proposals of 200-words (max.) for twenty-minute papers fitting broadly into one of the above themes are welcomed from all post-graduate and early-career researchers before the deadline 10 January 2022.

Proposals and further enquiries should be sent to the organisers (Dr Ruth Salter, Anne Jeavons, and Claire Collins) via: maladies.miracles.medicine@gmail.com. Full details will be released closer to the date, but we are hoping this will be able to go ahead in person rather than online.

Call for papers – ‘Ecologies of Healing in the Premodern World (600-1350 CE)’ – Edinburgh, 9-10 Sept 2022.

Yet, how these diverse pieces can be assembled into a cohesive picture of medicine, health and healing within, let alone across, societies before c.1350 remains to be worked out. Ecologies of Healing invites scholars working on premodern Asian, African and European societies to do just that. The conference’s key goal is to piece together how interactions and demarcations between ideas, practices, practitioners, materials and settings of healing ultimately coalesced within the medical ecosystems of premodern societies. Ecologies of Healing also seeks to sharpen our chronologies by paying attention to how and why medical ecosystems have changed or stayed the same over time, and to promote further the global history of premodern medicine by exploring cross-cultural connections and comparisons between the medical ecosystems characteristic of distinct premodern societies.  

We welcome papers on premodern health, medicine and healing, including in the following areas: 

  • Medical epistemologies and knowledge communities; (re)constructions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ knowledge and practice 
  • Practical repercussions, and limitations of, learned medicine 
  • Competing, converging and coexisting practices of healing and healthcare work, including through patient as well as practitioner perspectives 
  • Economies of healing and the social settings of medicine, including the significance of environment, urban/rural geographies and domestic healthcare 
  • Roles of cross-cultural interactions and knowledge transfer in shaping practices of medicine 
  • Stratified healing, including the impact of wealth, status, ethnicity, religious affiliation and gender on participation in knowledge communities and access to healing 
  • Interfaces between animal and human healthcare 

Keynote speaker: 

Anthony Cerulli, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Confirmed speakers: 

Carmen Caballero Navas, University of Granada

Asaf Goldschmidt, Tel Aviv University

Ahmed Ragab, Williams College

Richard Sowerby, University of Edinburgh

Sethina Watson, University of York

Ronit Yoeli-Tlalim, Goldsmiths, University of London

The dates are preliminary and we will be able to confirm the final dates once we know more about the likely picture of the pandemic in 2022. Our aim is to hold a face-to-face event and we would cover the costs of three nights’ accommodation in Edinburgh. All papers will be pre-circulated among participants two months in advance of the conference, where each speaker will give a shorter presentation (around 15 minutes) outlining the paper’s key contentions followed by responses and open discussion. We are looking for papers dealing with original and previously unpublished material because our aim is that, ultimately, extended versions of the papers will form a peer-reviewed edited volume, Ecologies of Healing in the Premodern World. The final version of the papers in the volume will not exceed 10,000 words including footnotes.

Scholars are invited to submit abstracts of ca. 300 words to petros.bouras-vallianatos@ed.ac.uk and zubin.mistry@ed.ac.uk by 31 August 2021.

New Book – Sara Ritchey, Sharon Strocchia (eds), Gender, Health, and Healing, 1250-1550 – Amsterdam University Press

Sara Ritchey, Sharon Strocchia (eds), Gender, Health, and Healing, 1250-1550

This path-breaking collection offers an integrative model for understanding health and healing in Europe and the Mediterranean from 1250 to 1550. By foregrounding gender as an organizing principle of healthcare, the contributors challenge traditional binaries that ahistorically separate care from cure, medicine from religion, and domestic healing from fee-for-service medical exchanges. The essays collected here illuminate previously hidden and undervalued forms of healthcare and varieties of body knowledge produced and transmitted outside the traditional settings of university, guild, and academy. They draw on non-traditional sources — vernacular regimens, oral communications, religious and legal sources, images and objects — to reveal additional locations for producing body knowledge in households, religious communities, hospices, and public markets. Emphasizing cross-confessional and multilinguistic exchange, the essays also reveal the multiple pathways for knowledge transfer in these centuries. Gender, Health, and Healing, 1250-1550 provides a synoptic view of how gender and cross-cultural exchange shaped medical theory and practice in later medieval and Renaissance societies.

Introduction – Gendering Medieval Health and Healing: New Sources, New Perspectives
Sara Ritchey and Sharon Strocchia
 
PART 1: Sources of Religious Healing
 
Caring by the Hours: The Psalter as a Gendered Health care Technology
Sara Ritchey
 
Female Saints as Agents of Female Healing: Gendered Practices and Patronage in the Cult of St. Cunigunde
Iliana Kandzha
 
PART 2: Producing and Transmitting Medical Knowledge
 
Blood, Milk and Breastbleeding: The Humoral Economy of Women’s Bodies in Late Medieval Medicine
Montserrat Cabré and Fernando Salmón
 
Care of the Breast in the Late Middle Ages: The Tractatus de Passionibus Mamillarum
Belle S. Tuten
 
Household Medicine for a Renaissance Court: Caterina Sforza’s Ricettario Reconsidered
Sheila Barker and Sharon Strocchia
 
Understanding/Controlling the Female Body in Ten Recipes: Print and the Dissemination of Medical Knowledge about Women in the Early Sixteenth Century
Julia Gruman Martins
 
PART 3: Infirmity and Care
 
Ubi non est mulier, ingemiscit egens? Gendered Perceptions of Care from the Thirteenth to Sixteenth Centuries
Eva-Maria Cersovsky
 
Domestic Care in the Sixteenth Century: Expectations, Experiences, and Practices from a Gendered Perspective
Cordula Nolte
 
Bathtubs as a Healing Approach in Fifteenth-Century Ottoman Medicine
Ayman Yasin Atat
 
PART 4: (In)fertility and Reproduction
 
Gender, Old Age, and the Infertile Body in Medieval Medicine
Catherine Rider
 
Gender Segregation and the Possibility of Arabo-Galenic Gynecological Practice in the Medieval Islamic World
Sara Verskin
 
Afterword: Healing Women and Women Healers
Naama Cohen-Hanegbi

CFP – Gender and History – Special Issue: Health, Healing and Caring

Gender & History is an international journal for research and writing on the history of femininity, masculinity and gender relations. This Call for Papers is aimed at scholars studying any country or region, and any temporal period, including the classical, medieval, early modern, modern, and contemporary periods.

This Special Issue will explore the gendered history of healing and caring from the perspective of the sick and suffering, and various types of healers and caregivers. It aims to move beyond institutional histories of biomedicine, canonical medical knowledge, and allopathic approaches to health. We seek to showcase research that reflects upon the gendered dynamics of palliative care and the formation of diverse communities and economies of health and healing. We recognize that historical reckonings of health and bodily knowledge in many locales have been dominated by sources maintained in state, colonial, and missionary archives, and by notions of medicine shaped in white settler institutions. In an effort to destabilize these reckonings and to uncover marginalized forms of knowledge and practice, we encourage research informed by diverse methodologies and an imaginative approach to source material.

In recent years, medical anthropologists have shed light on the complex and unequal co-production of biomedical knowledge and “traditional” forms of medicine while feminist sociologists have illuminated the gendered dynamics of caregiving and the devaluation of its everyday and emotional labor. How might historians engage these cross-disciplinary methods and insights to reconstruct more nuanced and more expansive histories of healing and caring? What happens to our gendered histories of illness and medicine when we de-naturalize biomedical formations and examine palliative care in addition to therapeutic treatment? How has gender shaped which forms of healing and caring are recognized and institutionalized, and how has such privileging changed over time?

We understand that historically a wide array of people have provided healing and caring including family members, shamans, spirit mediums, healers, Elders, herbalists, diviners, faith healers, and wise-women and men as well as midwives, nurses, aids, and doctors. Their practices have ranged from diagnosing illnesses, administering medicines, and performing procedures to offering spiritual and psychological counsel. They have also included forms of body work such as grooming, feeding, bathing, massage and manipulation, and handling the dead.

Papers are invited from established scholars as well as new, emerging, and unaffiliated scholars who consider a variety of historical moments and locations, or transnational and even global processes related to themes such as the following:

●Intersectional approaches that examine how social identities and inequalities rooted in gender,race, ethnicity, sexuality, class, religion, and nationality have long shaped people’s access tohealth resources and care and, in turn, given rise to disparate patterns and experiences of well-being and illness.

●Reconstruction of deep histories of gendered healing and caring, extending back well before thetwentieth century, that reveal how healing and caring practices have been central concerns forboth individuals and societies and how those concerns have often animated and reconfiguredcultural institutions, political ideologies, and economic relations and markets.

●Consideration of the connections and tensions between various modes of healing and palliation,and how those relations have informed the frequently gendered and racialized separation of“professional” and “modern” medicine from modes designated as “traditional,” “informal,”“alternative,” or “home-based.”

●Examination of how people have transmitted healing and caring epistemologies and practicesacross generations and geographic distances, including how women have sought to maintain orassert control over their health and how various archives have worked both to represent andobscure those efforts.

●Engagement with concepts from disability studies, queer theory, and crip theory to betterunderstand the history of illnesses and diseases that have often been both gendered andstigmatized such as depression, hysteria, reproductive maladies, infertility, and sexuallytransmitted infections.

Interested individuals are asked to submit 500-word abstracts, a brief biography (250 words), and a cv by 31 August 2019 at 5pm PDT for consideration. Abstracts will be reviewed by the guest editors and successful proponents will participate in a symposium at Vancouver Island University in British Columbia, Canada, on 8 May 2020. Papers must be submitted six weeks prior to the symposium. Papers should be 6000-8000 words in length. After the symposium, papers will go through the journal’s peer review system. As with any article, there is no guarantee of publication. The editors are in the process of applying for funding to defray the cost of the travel to the symposium for new, emerging, and unaffiliated scholars. Please send abstracts, biographies, and CVs by email to genderhistory@viu.ca or by mail to The Editors, Gender & History, Vancouver Island University, 900 Fifth Street, Nanaimo, BC V9R 5S5. The Special Issue will be edited by Drs. Kristin Burnett, Sara Ritchey, and Lynn M. Thomas.

Special Issue Timeline Abstracts to SI editors — 31 August 2019 Papers circulated to symposium participants — 15 March 2020 Symposium at Vancouver Island University (Nanaimo, British Columbia) — 8 May 2020Full submissions to SI editors (papers submitted on ScholarOne) for peer review — 31 August, 2020 Revised submissions (and any image permissions) to SI editors — 31 May 2021 Publication — October 2021

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