CFP – Histories of Healthy Ageing – University of Groningen, 21–23 June 2017

Histories of Healthy Ageing

University of Groningen, 21–23 June 2017

As Western populations grow increasingly older, ‘healthy ageing’ is presented as one of today’s greatest medical and societal challenges. However, contrary to what many policy makers want us to believe, the aspiration to live long, healthy and happy lives is not a problem specific to our times. On the contrary successful ageing has a long history.

The conference Histories of Healthy Ageing is based on the assumption that ‘healthy ageing’ has informed the medical agenda since Antiquity. With ‘healthy ageing’ we refer to ways of thinking about and treating the body not only from a medical perspective, but also taking into account questions of what constitutes a happy and fulfilled life. In particular these latter issues were central to medicine before 1800 and relate to healthy living as much as to questions connected specifically to old age. Thus whether we speak of classic ways of training the athlete’s body, medieval religious rites, the pre-modern obsession with regimen (rules for living a healthy life), or the upper-class fancy to visit spas, at the root of it all was a wish for wellbeing, health and longevity.

The conference focuses especially (but not exclusively) on the pre-modern period. Submissions for 20-minute papers should include a 250-word abstract and a short CV. Subject to funding small travel grants might be available for junior researchers.
Possible topics include:

  • Histories of diet and dietetics, ‘sports’, spas and bathing, medication and life-elixirs, etc.
  • The materiality of healthy living and ageing (pills, powders and elixirs, bath houses, exercise apparatus, scales and the like)
  • Aesthetics and the history of cosmetic surgery
  • Prognosis and historical efforts to chart life expectancy
  • Relations between patients and doctors
  • Ars Moriendi and resilience in the face of illness and death
  • Healthy living and ageing outside academic medicine (quacks, alchemy, homeopathy)
  • Narratives of ‘healthy ageing’
  • The philosophical question of what constitutes a long and happy life
  • Life cycles
  • The understanding and application of the six ‘non-naturals’
  • Healthy ageing and the arts

Keynote lectures:

At the conference 5 keynote lectures will centre on the non-naturals, the areas defined by Hippocratic writers as the basis of health management and disease prevention.

  • Food and Drink by Elizabeth Williams (Oklahoma State)
  • Exercise and Rest by Onno van Nijf (Groningen)
  • Sleep and Wakefulness by William Maclehose (UC London)
  • Excretion and Retention by Michael Stolberg (Würzburg)
  • Perturbations of the Mind and Emotions by Irena Metzler (Swansea)

In addition to these specialised lectures there will be a public lecture by Robert Zwijnenberg (Leiden University) on Pre-modern Healthy Ageing and Modern Bio-medical Art.
Exhibition

The conference will be accompanied by an exhibition in the Groningen University Museum and the University Medical Centre Groningen (UMCG).
It opens June 2017.
Conference Organisers: Rina Knoeff, Ruben Verwaal, Catrien Santing, James Kennaway, Rolf ter Sluis.

Submissions and queries should be sent to: historiesofhealthyageing@gmail.com

Call closes: 1 December 2016

Download the Call for Papers here.

New Publication – Fools and idiots? Intellectual disability in the Middle Ages by Irina Metzler

Fools and idiots?

 

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9636-5
  • Pages: 256
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £70.00
  • Published Date: February 2016
  • BIC Category: History, History of medicine, History & Archaeology, European history: medieval period, middle ages, CE period up to c 1500, HISTORY / Medieval, Medicine / History of medicine, Humanities / Medieval history, MEDICAL / History

 

Fools and idiots? is the first book devoted to the cultural history in the pre-modern period of people we now describe as having learning disabilities. Using an interdisciplinary approach, including historical semantics, medicine, natural philosophy and law, Irina Metzler considers a neglected field of social and medical history and makes an original contribution to the problem of a shifting concept such as ‘idiocy’.

Medieval physicians, lawyers and the schoolmen of the emerging universities wrote the texts which shaped medieval definitions of intellectual ability and its counterpart, disability. In studying such texts, which form part of our contemporary scientific and cultural heritage, we gain a better understanding of which people were considered to be intellectually disabled, and how their participation and inclusion in society differed from the situation today. This book will be required reading for anyone studying or working in disability studies, history of medicine, social history and the history of ideas.

 

Contents

1. Pre-/conceptions: problems of definition and historiography
2. From morio to fool: semantics of intellectual disability
3. Cold complexions and moist humors: natural science and intellectual disability
4. The infantile and the irrational: mind, soul and intellectual disability
5. Non-consenting adults: laws and intellectual disability
6. Fools, pets and entertainers: socio-cultural considerations of intellectual disability
7. Reconsiderations: rationality, intelligence and human status
Select bibliography
Index

More informations on the editor website

 

CFP – Kalamazoo – Before and After 1348: Prelude and Consequences of the Black Death

Session on Black Death at International Congress on Medieval Studies (Kalamazoo), May 11-14, 2017

“Before and After 1348:  Prelude and Consequences of the Black Death,” organized by Monica Green, email: monica.green@asu.edu.
Abstract:  The “new paradigm” of Black Death studies has adopted the findings of recent paleogenetics and evolutionary understandings of Yersinia pestis‘s late medieval genetic diversification to see the Black Death as a much broader epidemiological phenomenon than previously realized. Although Black Death narratives are usually told from the perspective of western Europe, it is in fact likely that much of Eurasia and North Africa was affected by the newly proliferating organism. And in many of those areas, we know now, plague “focalized,” becoming embedded in the local fauna and thus persisting for years, or even centuries, thereafter. This session invites work that looks both at the late medieval pandemic’s origins before 1348 (whether in China or other places in central Eurasia) and its after-effects, including the 1360-63 pestis secunda. Cultural as well as scientific approaches are welcome.

Please send proposals directly to me: monica.green@asu.edu.  Paper proposals (a one-page abstract and a Participant Information Form) are due by September 15. The links to information on the submission process and the Participation Information Form may be found at http://www.wmich.edu/medievalcongress/submissions. For the statement on Congress rules, see: http://www.wmich.edu/medievalcongress/policies.

You may wish to know that the newly created Contagions: Society for Historic Infectious Disease Studies will also be sponsoring two sessions, tentatively entitled “Historic Landscapes of Disease,” and “The Great Transition: Climate, Disease, and Society in the Late Medieval World: A Roundtable on Bruce Campbell’s New Book.” For info on those sessions, please contact Michelle Ziegler, zieglerm@slu.edu.

 

More information on the American Association for the History of Medicine website

CFP – The Digital Medieval Disability Glossary working group

Call for papers: 2016-2017

The Digital Medieval Disability Glossary working group invites graduate and undergraduate course projects exploring specific disability-related terms for potential inclusion in the glossary. Participants in courses on the history of the English language and in medieval languages and cultures are particularly encouraged to submit contributions to this collaborative project.

The glossary seeks to tell the story of medieval terms used for embodied difference, illness, and impairment. Building on existing resources such as the Dictionary of Old English, the Middle English Dictionary, and the Oxford English Dictionary, the Glossary will function as an open-access reference that demonstrates the complexity of medieval attitudes towards bodies, minds, and communities.

As indicated in this preliminary Wiki version, the Glossary contains entries developed by faculty and students at Southeastern University (guided by Dr. Cameron Hunt McNabb), Miami University at Hamilton (Dr. Tory. V. Pearman), and George Washington University (Dr. Jonathan Hsy). In each instance, entries provide straightforward definitions of the terms under consideration, broader insights into each word’s use and evolution, and a list of works cited and resources for future study. The working group is currently engaged in converting the Wiki into a full web resource.

The project, therefore, offers students and faculty the opportunity to participate in the creation of a vital new resource in the digital humanities. Entries should focus on how a particular term functions within a particular medieval context (ca. 700-1500 CE). Analysis of terms from a wide variety of medieval languages are welcome, but, at this point, we ask that the entries be written in English. Sample assignments that have been used to generate existing entries are available on request.

The Glossary working group will conduct open peer review of all entries, and all faculty and students will be credited by name and institution on the site. Proposed entries may be sent on a rolling basis. Ideally, though, material from Fall 2016 courses would be sent by 31 January 2017, and from Spring 2017 courses by 30 June 2017.

To learn more about this project or contribute an entry, please contact the current editor Karen Bruce Wallace at bruce.133@osu.edu.

Find the call for papers online here.