New book – Donna Trembinski, Illness and Authority: Disability in the Life and Lives of Francis of Assisi, University of Toronton Press, 2020.

Illness and Authority: Disability in the Life and Lives of Francis of Assisi, University of Toronton Press, 2020.

Illness and Authority examines the lived experience and early stories about St. Francis of Assisi through the lens of disability studies. This new approach re-centres Francis’s illnesses and infirmities and highlights how they became barriers to wielding traditional modes of masculine authority within both the Franciscan Order he founded and the church hierarchy. So concerned were members of the Franciscan leadership that the future saint was compelled to seek out medical treatment and spent the last two years of his life in the nearly constant care of doctors. Unlike other studies of Francis’s ailments, Illness and Authority focuses on the impact of his illnesses on his autonomy and secular power, rather than his spiritual authority.

From downplaying the comfort Francis received from music to disappearing doctors in the narratives of his life, early biographers worked to minimize the realities of his infirmities. When they could not do so, they turned the saint’s experiences into teachable moments that demonstrated his saintly and steadfast devotion and his trust in God. Illness and Authority explores the struggles that early authors of Francis’s vitae experienced as they tried to make sense of a saint whose life did not fit the traditional rhythms of a founder-saint.

  • Page Count: 272 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.2in x 1.0in x 9.1in

More information on the editor website

 

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

Call for Papers – Medieval Association of the Pacific Conference 2017 – « Collecting the Monstrous »

Call for Papers
Medieval Association of the Pacific Conference 2017
MEARCSTAPA Proposed Session
NEW DEADLINE

Collecting the Monstrous

Medieval and early modern history, art, and literature often depict collections of strange, uncanny, or monstrous things. Bestiaries sometimes depict exotic animals or monstrous, composite creatures; those in the relic trade (such as Chaucer’s Pardoner) boasted collections of relics and other “miraculous” items, some of which were gruesome. Monastic houses and churches guarded proudly their (supposedly authentic) relics and other collections of ephemera, and developed sensational and shocking stories about these objects. Witch hunters and Inquisitors of the early modern period sometimes kept macabre souvenirs of those they interrogated, such as purported pacts with the devil, witch bottles, and other types of physical “evidence” of hexes or spells. Such collections both contributed to and inhibited the development of early modern antiquarianism in the period 1500-1700.

What is the belief system or thought process behind the accumulation of objects that are “othered” by an association with the uncanny or monstrous? What spiritual or psychological effects were they meant to have on their collectors and their beholders? The issue of authenticity is problematic, as strange beasts in bestiaries, relics for sale, confiscated satanic accoutrements and objects at the center of a church’s strange story were usually not genuine. What relationship did medieval and early modern collectors of objects have with the concept of authenticity when it came to the collection of objects considered to be uncanny or macabre? How do their attitudes about authenticity affect those of the 21st century scholar of medieval and early modern studies? What are the challenges of communicating the accumulation of uncanny or monstrous collections of objects to students? Moreover, what are modern scholars to do with such objects when they turn up in museums, churches, or universities? The precursors to our modern museums were early modern cabinets of curiosity, filled with strange and wondrous curios from throughout the world. How do these origins linger in present institutions? MEARCSTAPA seeks papers that examine the collecting of items that are considered uncanny, preternatural, or monstrous in medieval or early modern history, art, or literature in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, or Asia.

Please send proposals of 300 words by October 29, 2017 to Thea Tomaini at tmtomaini@gmail.com and Asa Simon Mittman at asmittman@mail.csuchico.edu.