New book – Disease and Disability in Medieval and Early Modern Art and Literature, eds. Rinaldo F. Canalis and Massimo Ciavolella – Brepols, April 2021.

 
 
Humanity has always shown a keen interest in the pathological, ranging from a morbid fascination with ‘monsters’ and deformities to a genuine compassion for the ill and suffering. Medieval and early modern people were no exception, expressing their emotional response to disease in both literary works and, to a somewhat lesser extent, in the plastic arts. Consequently, it becomes necessary to ask what motivated writers and artists to choose an illness or a disability and its physical and social consequences as subjects of aesthetic or intellectual expression. Were these works the result of an intrusion in their intent to faithfully reproduce nature, or do they reflect an intentional contrast against the pre-modern portrayal of spiritual ideals and, later, through the influence of the classics, the rediscovered importance and beauty of the human body?
The essays contained in this volume address these questions, albeit not always directly but, rather, through an analysis of the societal reactions to the threats and challenges that essentially unopposed disease and physical impairment presented. They cover a wide range of responses, variable, of course, according to the period under scrutiny, its technological moment, and the usually fruitless attempts at treatment.
 

CONTENTS:

  • Introduction and Epidemiological Perspective — Rinaldo F. Canalis and Massimo Ciavolella
 

Part I. Medieval and Transitional Periods

 
  • The Art of Medicine in Byzantium: Disease and Disability in Byzantine Manuscripts — Alain Touwaide
  • Miracle and the Monstrous: Disability and Deviant Bodies in the Late Middle Ages — Jenni Kuuliala
  • Leprosy, Melancholy, Folly and their Representations in French Medieval Literature — Gaia Gubini
  • Malady in Literary Texts from the Medieval and Early Modern Periods. Some Hypotheses on a Paradoxical Constellation — Joachim Küpper
  • Fevers, Botches and Carbuncles: Describing the Plague in Late Medieval and Early Modern Medical Treatises — Lori Jones
 

Part II. The Early Modern Period

 
  • The Role of Architecture and the Decorative Arts in Renaissance Medicine — Francis Wells
  • Art in Disease and Disease in Art: Reflections on Two Early Modern Paradigmatic Examples — Manuela Gallerani
  • The Mal Franzoso: Between Art, History and Literature: Paracelso and Della Porta — Alfonso Paolella
  • The Ailing Artist — Roberto Fedi
  • Nicolas Poussin`s The Plague at Ashdod and the French Disease — Efrain Kristal
  • ‘Yet have I in me something dangerous’: On the Interplay of Medicine and Maleficence in Shakespeare’s Hamlet — Sara Frances Burdorff
  • Textures of Lesions – Textures of Prints — Domenico Bertoloni Meli 

 

More info on the editor website

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.

COVID-Calls discussions – Hosted by Scott Gabriel Knowles – every weekday

What IS COVIDCalls? phillymag.com/news/2020/08/1

Live Video on:

YouTube youtube.com/channel/UCgxa_

Twitch twitch.tv/scottknowles

Facebook Live facebook.com/covidcalls1

Periscope pscp.tv/USofDisaster

A selection of some episodes:

COVID-Calls 3.30.2020 Cindy Ermus & Christienna Fryar–pandemics in history

My guests today are disaster historians who understand the global history of pandemic disease. Cindy Ermus is a history professor at UT San Antonio. She specializes in the history of science, medicine, and the environment, especially catastrophe and crisis management, in eighteenth-century France and the Atlantic and Mediterranean Worlds. She’s working on a book titled The Great Plague Scare of 1720: Disaster and Society in the Eighteenth-Century World.

Christienna Fryar is Lecturer in Black British History at Goldsmiths, University of London and she is a historian of modern Britain, the British Empire, and the Modern Caribbean, focusing on Britain’s centuries-long imperial and especially postemancipation entanglements with the Caribbean. She is working on a book titled The Measure of Empire: Disaster and British Imperialism in Postemancipation Jamaica.

COVID-Calls 4.10.2020 Julia Engelschalt & Jacob Remes–history of disaster, pandemic, welfare

Today I talked with two brilliant historians about disaster, disease, and history.

Jacob Remes is a clinical associate professor of history at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, where he directs the nascent Initiative for Critical Disaster Studies. He is author of Disaster Citizenship: Survivors, Solidarity, and Power in the Progressive Era (University of Illinois Press, 2016). He is the co-editor, with Andy Horowitz, of the forthcoming Critical Disaster Studies: New Perspectives on Disaster, Vulnerability, Resilience, and Risk.

Julia Engelschalt is currently a doctoral candidate in history at Bielefeld University. She is working on a project titled « Climates, Contagion, and Comparison: American Medicine between Colonial Warfare and the New Public Health, 1898-1925. »

COVIDCalls 6.25.2020 Pandemic History in the Premodern World

Tina Sessa, Merle Eisenberg, Lee Mordechai and Tim.

COVIDCalls 10.5.2020 THE PANDEMIC IN THE ANTHROPOCENE

Bernd Scherer, and Christoph Rosol.

COVIDCalls 5.13.2020 Monica H. Green and Jacob Steere-Williams–pandemics in history

Monica H. Green is an Independent Scholar and an elected Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America. Her work has won book prizes and teaching awards from both the Medieval Academy of America and the History of Science Society. Currently, she is working in two different areas. On the one hand, she continues her work on the intellectual and social history of European medicine in the 11th and 12th centuries, looking at the impact of Arabic medicine on Latin Europe. On the other hand, she is continuing her work on the global histories of the world’s leading infectious diseases, with a particular focus on plague and leprosy. She is bringing out a new edition of her edited volume, Pandemic Disease in the Medieval World: Rethinking the Black Death. And her book, The Black Death: A Global History, is in progress.

Jacob Steere-Williams is an Associate Professor of History at the College of Charleston and an editor with The Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences. His work centers on the history of public health and the history of disease in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, particularly in Britain and the British Empire. He is the author of the forthcoming (November 2020) The Filth Disease: Typhoid Fever and the Practices of Epidemiology in Victorian England, with the University of Rochester Press. His current book project examines networks and practices of public health in colonial India and South Africa during the Third Plague Pandemic of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. During the current COVID-19 pandemic his work has been featured on several public forums, including The Post and Courier, CNN, and live webinars for the American Association for the History of Medicine, Princeton, and the Royal College of Physicians.

COVIDCalls 3.3.2021 THE PANDEMIC AND THE HISTORY OF MUTUAL AID

Daniel Joslyn and Tyesha Maddox.

COVIDCalls 2.22.2021 THE HISTORY OF PLAGUE: NEW PERSPECTIVES

Monica Green, and Tunahan Durnaz.

COVIDCalls 1.25.2021 THE PANDEMIC AND THE HISTORY OF MEDICINE

Jacob Steere-Williams, and Deborah Levine.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yA1KgXEFZ2c

Grants – Call for Fellowship Applications: Jaipreet Virdi 2021 Fellowship for Disability Studies

ABOUT THEM:

The Medical Heritage Library, Inc. (MHL) is a collaborative digitization and discovery organization of some of the world’s leading medical libraries committed to providing open access to resources in the history of healthcare and health sciences. The MHL’s goal is to provide the means by which readers and scholars across a multitude of disciplines can examine the interrelated nature of medicine and society, both to inform contemporary medicine and to strengthen understanding of the world in which we live.

DESCRIPTION:
The Medical Heritage Library seeks a motivated fellow to assist in the continuing development of our education and outreach programs. Under the guidance of a member of our governance board, the fellow will develop curated collections or sets for the MHL website on the topic of disability and medical technologies. Examples of existing primary source sets can be found on the MHL website: http://www.medicalheritage.org/resource-sets/.  These collections will be drawn from the over 300,000 items in our Internet Archive library. The curated collections provide a means for our visitors to discover the richness of MHL materials on a variety of topics relevant to the history of health and the health sciences. As part of this work, the fellow will have an opportunity to enrich metadata in MHL records in Internet Archive to support scholarship and inquiry on this topic.

This paid fellowship will be hosted virtually, with no in-person component.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Based on the input of MHL members and others, work on the creation of curated sets of materials drawn from MHL collections.
  • Enrich MHL metadata to highlight underrepresented topics in our Internet Archive collections.
  • Regularly create blog posts and other type of social media for posting to MHL accounts.
  • Other duties as assigned.

QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE:

This virtual position is open to all qualified graduate students with a strong interest in medical, disability, or health history, with additional interests in library/information science or education. Strong communication and collaboration skills are a must. Fellows are expected to learn quickly and work independently.  

FELLOWSHIP DURATION:

The fellowship will take place anytime between the end of May 2021-mid-August 2021

HOURS:

150 hours, over 12 weeks with a maximum of 20 hours in any given week.

SALARY:

$20/hour not to exceed $3000

NUMBER OF AVAILABLE FELLOWSHIPS: 1

To apply, please provide the following:

  •     Cover letter documenting interest in position
  •     Curriculum Vitae
  •     2 References- names (with positions) and emails and phone numbers of references to contact

Please submit your application materials by April 19th, 2021 through this from: https://forms.gle/APV6Kq9G38SJbzkZA

Candidate interviews will take place virtually.

More information on the Medical Heritage website.

Conference – In Sickness and in Health – Online / Haifa University, Jan 12–13, 2021

Imago – The Israeli Association of Visual Culture in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period, and the Department of Art History, University of Haifa are thrilled to publish the program of the 14th Annual Imago conference:

“In Sickness and in Health: Pestilence, Disease, and Healing in Medieval and Early Modern Art”.

The two-day international conference will be held online, January 12-13, 2021.

We invite you to join us for a rich event that will explore a diverse variety of fascinating subjects, such as “Healing, Humor and Pleasure”, “The Sick and Disabled Body”, and “Gendering Disease”.

Participation is free and there are no registration fees. To attend, please fill out the online registration form (below).

PROGRAM

DAY 1 – Tuesday, 12 January 2021

09:00–09:30 GREETINGS and Opening Remarks

Efraim Lev, Dean – Faculty of Humanities, University of Haifa
Emma Maayan-Fanar, Chairperson – Department of Art History, University of Haifa
Gil Fishhof, Chairperson – Imago, The Israeli Association for Visual Culture in the Middle Ages


09:30–11:00 SESSION 1. Plague and the Artistic Process: Continuity, Change and Opportunity
Chair: Gil Fishhof, University of Haifa

Daniel Unger, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Carlo Borromeo’s Plague in Bolognese Painting

Cyprien Fuchs, Neuchâtel University
Picturing the Black Death as an Opportunity. The Case of Taddeo Gaddi’s San Giovanni Fuorcivitas Polyptych

Rita Yates, Warburg Institute, University of London
The Sacred Heart of Jesus: Image, Rhetoric, and Practice during the Great Plague of Marseille (1720-22)


– 11:00–11:30 Coffee Break –


11:30–13:00 SESSION 2. Images and the Codification of Medical Knowledge
Chair: Daniel Unger, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Sivan Gottlieb, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
The Art of Healing: The Case of a Hebrew Herbal

Elena Berger, Institute of World History, Russian Academy of Science
From Prophecy to Medical Treatises: “Monsters” in Medical Illustrations of Early Modern France

Kathleen Walker-Meikle, King’s College, London
The Zodiac Horse: Animals in Astrological-Medical Diagrams in the Late Medieval and Early Modern Periods


– 13:00–14:30 Lunch Break –


14:30–16:00 SESSION 3. Healing, Humor and Pleasure
Chair: Gili Shalom, Tel-Aviv University

Dafna Nissim, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Pleasures vs. Plague Fear – Court Scenes in Two Manuscripts of The Decameron Made for Philip the Good

Anne Williams, University of Richmond
Healing Laughter: Death and Humor in Medieval Art

Fabienne Gallaire, Independent Scholar
Looking through the Glass: The Uroscopist Figure as Visual Satire


– 16:00–16:30 Coffee Break –


16:30–18:00 Session 4. The Sick and Disabled Body
Chair: Emma Maayan-Fanar, University of Haifa

Gili Shalom, Tel-Aviv University
Healing of the Disabled in St. Honorius Portal at Amiens Cathedral and Its Reception

Jennifer M. Feltman, The University of Alabama
The Afflicted Body and the Aesthetic of Wholeness in Gothic Sculpture

Sharon Strocchia and Ryan Kelly, Emory University
Picturing the Pox in Italian Popular Prints, 1550-1650

DAY 2 – Wednesday, 13 January 2021

09:30–11:30 SESSION 1. Gendering Disease and Healing
Chair: Jochai Rosen, University of Haifa

Nirit Ben Aryeh Debby, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Female Saints and the Plague in Italy: St. Clare of Assisi and St. Catherine of Siena

Sara Benninga, Tel-Aviv University
Lovesickness and Stone Operations: Gendered Disease and its Artistic Representation

Anastasija Ropa, Latvian Academy of Sport Education
Depicting Disease and Healing in the Early Modern Rus: The Story of St. Pyotr and St. Fevronia

Sharon Khalifa-Gueta, University of Haifa
The Image of St. Margaret Emerging from the Dragon as an Emotional Director for Coping with Childbirth


– 11:30–12:00 Coffee Break –


12:00–13:30 SESSION 2. The Power of Images: Healing and Apotropaic Functions
Chair: Sharon Khalifa-Gueta, University of Haifa

Giuditta Gentile, Independent Scholar
Sacred Images to Ward off the Plague: The Case of an Early Sixteenth-Century Italian Print

Shir Blum, Tel-Aviv University
Assisting in Childbirth: The Material Variety of Amulets as Obstetrical Aides

Rebekkah C. Hart, University of California, Riverside
‘Against All Unknown Afflictions’: Medicine and Healing in English Alabaster ‘St. John’s Heads’ (c. 1417-1550)


– 13:30-15:00 Lunch Break –


15:00–17:00 SESSION 3. Sites of Healing: Space, Identity and Trauma
Chair: Assaf Pinkus, Tel-Aviv University

Brittany Forniotis, Duke University
Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Italian Lazzaretti and Collective Trauma in Fourteenth and Fifteenth-Century Italian Cities

Joana Balsa de Pinho, University of Lisbon,
Renaissance Hospitals in Portugal: Art and Architecture Regarding Sickness and Health

Anđela Gavrilović, University of Belgrade
The Scenes of Christ’s Miraculous Healings in the Church of Hagia Sophia in Trebizond: The Meaning and the Reasons of Their Depiction

Emily Jay, Texas Tech University
Hollow, Hallowed Body: Santa Rosalia and the Reconstruction of Identities in Palermo during the 1624 Plague

The conference will be held online via Zoom. For registration and a link to the meetings please register at the link below, or contact gfishhof@staff.haifa.ac.il
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf5-EIeBObP-Euybk2GRk-Mghs_NWKt4vjorPzZ2p6JObzdiQ/viewform?fbclid=IwAR2x6E8hDNGhXhYUgYfKTVVm7CvBruQ0_oQIOz892EMhPfVKXiGVlJurXJ4

The conference is held according to Israel local time (GMT+2).

Organizing committee: Gil Fishhof, Mazi Kuzi, Jochai Rosen, Margo Stroumsa-Uzan

More infos on the organisator website