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 – Afflicted Bodies, Affected Societies: Disease and Wellness in Historical Perspective – 5th Annual Symposium, Department of History, Seton Hall University

The year 2018 marks the centennial of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic, one of the deadliest outbreaks of disease in recorded history. To acknowledge the social impact of illness on humanity, the History Department at Seton Hall University will host a two-day symposium on disease and wellness in historical perspective. Some of the questions we seek to investigate over the course of this symposium are as follows: How have notions of illness and wellness changed over time? In what ways have medical progress and discovery been shaped by wars and natural disasters? How did regimes of hygiene fashion social hierarchies or imperial policy? What have been the social, political, and economic consequences of the diseased body and/or mind in various societies? How do civilizations conceptualize disease and miracles within faith practices? How do public health and issues of social justice intersect?

Some additional topics for research papers include the following:

  • Medicine, war, and natural disasters
  • Medical progress, discovery, and vaccines
  • Colonial diseases and medicines
  • Traditional practices and practitioners
  • Professionalization of medicine
  • Cultural representations of health care
  • Saints, shamans, and spiritual dimensions of health
  • Gender dynamics of health
  • Disease and persecution
  • Drugs and addiction
  • Trauma and mental health

The symposium will be held on Thursday and Friday, 7-8 February. A keynote address by Alan Kraut, Professor of History at the American University, will open the symposium on Thursday, 7 February. The second day of the symposium will consist of panels and a roundtable discussion. The symposium will be held at the South Orange, New Jersey campus of Seton Hall University, about a half hour outside of New York City.

We welcome proposals from scholars from all fields interested in the historical implications of disease and wellness including history, literary studies, anthropology, and religion, from the ancient to modern period. Advanced graduate students, early career scholars, and senior researchers are encouraged to apply. Please send a single document containing 1) a title and an abstract of up to 250 words and 2) a short (one-paragraph) biography, to setonhallhistorysymposium@gmail.com by Monday, 19 November, 2018.

Seton Hall will provide two-nights of accommodations for all invited participants coming from outside the New York City/Northern New Jersey area, as well as meals for all invited panelists. Travel funding may also be available on a case-by-case basis.

Contact Info:
Please feel free to contact Anne Giblin Gedacht at anne.gedacht@shu.edu, or Golbarg Rekabtalaei at golbarg.rekabtalaei@shu.edu, with any questions. For more information about History at Seton Hall, please visit our website, https://www.shu.edu/history/.

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 !

CFP – Sense and Nonsense Conference – biennial conference of the European Association for the History of Medicine and Health – University of Birmingham – 27-30 August 2019

Sense and Nonsense Conference 27-30 August 2019

Sense and Nonsense image

Conference call for papers: Sense and Nonsense

This biennial conference of the European Association for the History of Medicine and Health marks the 30th anniversary of the Association since its founding conference in Strasbourg in 1989. The title of the conference has been chosen to recognise key themes at the heart of medical history debates and discussions, and will take place in the heart of England, at the University of Birmingham.

Confirmed keynote speakers include Professor Ludmilla Jordanova (University of Durham), Professor Robert Jütte (University of Stuttgart) and Dr Vanessa Heggie (University of Birmingham). Expert sessions on public engagement and social media, among others, will also be run by Dr Vanessa Heggie and Alice Roberts, television presenter and Professor of Science Engagement (University of Birmingham) specifically for early career scholars on the first day of the conference.

Call for Papers

In the most literal of senses, the Scientific Board welcomes abstracts that will explore the history of sense perception, singularly or collectively and within medicine and health globally over the broadest of chronologies. Centring on touch, taste, smell, sight, sound or the heightened, honed, dulling, disability or loss of senses, or touching on their employment through food, pain, analgesia, polluted streets or pestiferous zones – and the emotional responses elicited – this conference encourages engagement with the emerging field of sensory history and its potential to revisit many familiar topics in fresh ways and provoke new insights. The centrality of the senses to medicine and health cuts across time periods and is apparent throughout the ancient and modern worlds, although the reliability of the senses have not always been accepted without question. At times, for example, ‘seeing is not believing’ through fakery or faith, hallucinations or delusions. And while not all periods have valued sight, neither has every practitioner cared or dared to touch their patients – all senses, like touch, having equally been gendered, if not varied with class, age and race or shaped by medical condition, comfort or neurodiversity.

While the five senses may have been recognised and embraced during the Enlightenment as the route to all knowledge, it was during this ‘age of reason’ that the so-called Western World and its colonies witnessed the rise of the asylum. Care became central for those who appeared to lose their senses or who were thought only capable of nonsense, in part because they were widely recognised as having human sensibilities and sensations and not those of animals. The senses and the action of the surroundings on them became instrumental in decisions about design and treatment, and people considered to be mentally ill or incapacitated became part of a growing body of patients who were isolated from communities.  Periodically, due to war, migration and urbanisation, the senses have been overwhelmed by encounters with unfamiliar or rapidly-changing worlds in which amplified sights, smells, noises and even vibrations were held potentially to precipitate episodes of mental ill-health.

Both the history of the senses and of mental health and illness have been involved in paradigm shifts in the discipline of history, and this forms another strand to our theme ‘Sense and Nonsense’. Often new paradigms, both in historical fields and medicine, provoke aggressive responses and opposition, especially from those with the greatest investment in orthodox practices. Equally, in crowded medical marketplaces, alternative healers were very quickly identified by their rivals as ‘quacks’ and, just as the hierarchy of the senses was periodically challenged, so too were hierarchies of healers. Contested knowledge has led some figures to exaggerate claims and bred scepticism among experts and various publics, no more so than in our own destabilised  ‘post-truth’ world of trickery and ‘alternative facts’. While this has bred much confusion historically, it has also led a return to rationality, objectivity and common sense. As often, it has encouraged trust in the illusory, the paranormal or the sixth sense. Ultimately, ‘Sense and Nonsense’ have always played a part in the way people and populations have tried to make sense of health and illness.

We particularly welcome proposals for panels touching on these and other topics, including, but not limited to:

  • Epistemologies of the senses through time
  • Animal, human, inter-species and transhuman senses
  • Reading non-verbal signals and uncovering the rationale behind premodern medicines
  • Extra/sensory perception and its metaphors across cultures and clinics
  • Visual cultures and those of taste, sound, scent and touch
  • Looking/seeing, listening/hearing, touching, smelling and tasting in medical education, examination and diagnosis
  • Energy, chakras, meditation, mindfulness and the senses and their management
  • Pain, torture, itching, scratching, numbing and sedating as experience, crime, punishment or therapy
  • Hyper-sensitivity, diversity, ability or disability through the senses, including burns, light sensitivity, synaesthesia, acute hearing or sight loss
  • Insensibility, drugs and psychoactive substances
  • Enabling technologies and technologies of touch, tactile imagery and haptic healing
  • Material culture and experiences of space through the senses, health, illness or as patients
  • Feeling and feelings
  • Mental capacity, signs of reason, neurological signs and auras
  • Fever, chills, hallucination, delusion and trauma
  • Nonsense, speaking in tongues, gibberish and jargon
  • Paradigm shifts in medicine and medical history
  • Ethics, experimentation and the return to common sense
  • Experiments, therapies or designs using the senses or sensory deprivation
  • Making sense of medicine and translating ideas into practice
  •  Geographies of the senses; virtual worlds and technology

Individual submissions will be received until 30 Jan. 2019 and should comprise a 250-word abstract, including five key words, and a one-page CV with contact information. Panel submissions should ideally include three papers (each with 250-word abstract, keywords and short CV), a chair and an initial introductory 100-word justification. If you wish to organise a roundtable, please include the names of participants and short 500-word abstract. We also invite poster presentations and ideas for novel sessions. As this is an anniversary year, the organisers will also be collecting and displaying images and items commemorating the work and activities of the EAHMH since the Association’s founding. Please contact us about anything you are happy to share. All submissions should be sent to: eahmh2019@contacts.bham.ac.uk

Must see sessions on Disability History – International Medieval Congress – Leeds – 2018 2-5 July 2018

Must see ! sessions on Disability History –

International Medieval Congress –

Leeds – 2018 2-5 July 2018

Session 150
Title Scientific, Empirical, Biblical, and Hagiographical Knowledge in the Middle Ages, I: Astronomy, Computus, and Medicine
Date/Time Monday 2 July 2018: 11.15-12.45
Sponsor School of Arts, English & Languages, Queen’s University Belfast
Organiser Sarah Baccianti, School of Arts, English & Languages, Queen’s University Belfast
Moderator/Chair Ciaran Arthur, School of Arts, English & Languages, Queen’s University Belfast
Paper 150-a Anglo-Saxons’ Visions of Modern Science
(Language: English)
Marilina Cesario, School of Arts, English & Languages, Queen’s University Belfast
Pedro Lacerda, School of Mathematics & Physics, Queen’s University Belfast
Index Terms: Historiography – Medieval; Language and Literature – Old English; Science
Paper 150-b Why Write Computus in English?: Vernacularity and Computistical Inquiry
(Language: English)
Rebecca Stephenson, School of English, Drama & Film, University College Dublin
Index Terms: Language and Literature – Old English; Literacy and Orality; Science
Paper 150-c Pus, Boils, and Amputations: Surgery in Medieval Scandinavia
(Language: English)
Sarah Baccianti, School of Arts, English & Languages, Queen’s University Belfast
Index Terms: Language and Literature – Scandinavian; Medicine
Abstract This session will focus on attitudes to knowledge, which constitutes one of the most complex concepts in the Middle Ages, as suggested by the vast semantic range of the Latin terms commonly translated as ‘knowledge’, including scientia, cognitio, notitia, eruditio and sapientia.
It will consider how scientia was transmitted and manipulated in the Middle Ages by looking at diverse sources ranging from astronomical, computistical, and mechanical texts (medicine, agriculture, and navigation), maps and the environment, and liturgical and hagiographical compositions from England, Scandinavia, and the Continent. Furthermore it will discuss the ways in which scientific knowledge and biblical and hagiographical learning were used to exercise power and the role that beliefs played in shaping and promoting scientific thinking.
Session 339
Title Memory in the Angevin World
Date/Time Monday 2 July 2018: 16.30-18.00
Sponsor Angevin World Network
Organiser Michael Staunton, School of History, University College Dublin
Moderator/Chair Stephen Church, Department of History, King’s College London
Paper 339-a Remembering the Conquest of Ireland in the Angevin World
(Language: English)
Colin Veach, School of Histories, Languages & Cultures, University of Hull
Index Terms: Historiography – Medieval; Mentalities; Military History
Paper 339-b Remembering Illness in the Angevin World: Variations of Familial Memory in the Miracle Accounts of Gilbert of Sempringham
(Language: English)
Krystal Carmichael, School of History, University College Dublin
Index Terms: Hagiography; Historiography – Medieval; Medicine; Mentalities
Paper 339-c Remembering the Loss of Normandy
(Language: English)
Michael Staunton, School of History, University College Dublin
Index Terms: Historiography – Medieval; Mentalities; Military History
Abstract This session addresses the ways in which events were remembered in the lands ruled by the Angevin kings of England (c. 1154 – c. 1216), a time of much innovation and variety in the recording and remembering of the past. Paper (a) looks at how the invasion of Ireland was remembered outside Ireland, in Latin and vernacular texts. Paper (b) discusses disputed memories of miracles in hagiographical texts, particularly those associated with Gilbert of Sempringham. Paper (c) examines the divergent ways in which King John’s loss of Normandy was remembered across the ‘Angevin empire’.

 

Session 399
Title #disIMC: Current Challenges to Accessibility and Ways Forward – A Round Table Discussion
Date/Time Monday 2 July 2018: 16.30-18.00
Sponsor Medievalists with Disabilities Network
Organiser Alexandra R. A. Lee, Department of Italian, University College London
Moderator/Chair Alexandra R. A. Lee, Department of Italian, University College London
Abstract At the IMC 2017, Medievalists with Disabilities hosted its first event. #disIMC was a ‘bring your own lunch’ affair, slotted into the timetable at the last minute. It was a great success and marked the beginning of the Medievalists with Disabilities (#dismed) network.

This round table discussion will discuss accessibility in higher education and ways that we can address issues. We take the term disabilities in the broadest possible sense, incorporating invisible and visible conditions, chronic illness, and mental health, to name but a few. Panellists will address issues individuals have overcome in Higher Education, discuss what it is like to be in HE with a disability/chronic condition, and pinpoint issues that need further attention.

Participants include Joanne Edge (University of Cambridge), Edward Mills (University of Exeter), Emma Osborne (University of Glasgow), Alicia Spencer-Hall (University College London), and Therron Welstead (University of Wales Trinity Saint David).

 

Session 604
Title New Voices in Anglo-Saxon Studies, I
Date/Time Tuesday 3 July 2018: 11.15-12.45
Sponsor International Society of Anglo-Saxonists
Organiser Megan Cavell, Department of English Literature, University of Birmingham
Moderator/Chair Damian Fleming, Department of English & Linguistics, Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne
Paper 604-a ‘Se bið mihtigre se ðe gæð þonne se þe crypð’: Metaphoric Disability in the Old English Boethius
(Language: English)
Leah Pope Parker, English Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Index Terms: Language and Literature – Old English; Philosophy; Social History
Paper 604-b Women, Adornment, and Social Change: Necklaces in 7th-Century Anglo-Saxon England
(Language: English)
Katie Haworth, Department of Archaeology, Durham University
Index Terms: Archaeology – Artefacts; Women’s Studies
Paper 604-c Quid est vox?: Mystery and Mysticism
(Language: English)
Matthew Coker, St Hilda’s College, University of Oxford
Index Terms: Language and Literature – Celtic; Language and Literature – Latin; Language and Literature – Old English; Learning (The Classical Inheritance)
Abstract The New Voices sessions are intended for all scholars new to the field of Anglo-Saxon studies, including research students, newly-appointed lecturers, and anyone who has only recently begun to work in this area. They provide an interdisciplinary perspective and showcase new work in the field. All submissions are reviewed by the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists (ISAS), who determine the ultimate selection of papers through a process of blind peer review. This particular session focuses on bodies.

 

Session 1047
Title Reputation, Emotion, and Remembering Death and Illness
Date/Time Wednesday 4 July 2018: 09.00-10.30
Sponsor Prato Consortium for Medieval & Renaissance Studies, Monash University, Victoria
Organiser Peter Francis Howard, Centre for Medieval & Renaissance Studies, Monash University, Victoria
Moderator/Chair John Henderson, Department of History, Classics & Archaeology, Birkbeck, University of London / School of Philosophical , Historical & International Studies , Monash University
Paper 1047-a Recording a Place of Emotions and Violence: Mapping the Coronial Deaths of Medieval Oxfordshire
(Language: English)
Annie Blachly, Centre for Medieval & Renaissance Studies, Monash University, Victoria
Index Terms: Archives and Sources; Computing in Medieval Studies; Social History
Paper 1047-b The Insania and Piety of Herimann of Nevers: Remembering a Mentally Ill Carolingian Bishop
(Language: English)
Rachel Stone, Department of History, King’s College London / Learning Resources & Service Excellence, University of Bedfordshire
Index Terms: Ecclesiastical History; Medicine; Mentalities
Paper 1047-c Medical Memory of Sense and Emotion by Baverio de’Bonetti (d. 1480): A Physician of Bologna
(Language: English)
Gordon Whyte, School of Philosophical, Historical & International Studies, Monash University, Victoria
Index Terms: Medicine; Social History
Abstract Serious illness and sudden or violent death were familiar aspects of medieval life, but how did people choose to remember such experiences? Linked to the Body in the City Project, this session draws on a variety of different sources from across the Middle Ages recording illness and death, including medical treatises, coroners’ rolls, and forms of religious commemoration. The papers explore how the messy experiences of illness and death, and the complex emotions of those involved, could be interpreted and turned into more formal accounts of events, suitable for permanent record.

 

Session 1108
Title Sanctifying the Crip, Cripping the Sacred: Disability, Holiness, and Embodied Knowledge
Date/Time Wednesday 4 July 2018: 11.15-12.45
Sponsor Hagiography Society
Organiser Alicia Spencer-Hall, School of Languages, Linguistics & Film, Queen Mary, University of London
Moderator/Chair Alicia Spencer-Hall, School of Languages, Linguistics & Film, Queen Mary, University of London
Paper 1108-a Hildegard of Bingen’s Hagiography: The Community of Heaven and Earth and the Social Model of Disability
(Language: English)
Stephen Marc D’Evelyn, School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol
Index Terms: Gender Studies; Hagiography; Religious Life; Theology
Paper 1108-b Translations of (Dis)Ability, Disease, and Digestion in The Book of Margery Kempe
(Language: English)
Katherine Gubbels, English Department, Metropolitan Community College, Nebraska
Index Terms: Gender Studies; Hagiography; Medicine; Theology
Paper 1108-c Disability and Power in the Early Lives of St Francis of Assisi
(Language: English)
Donna Trembinski, Department of History, St Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia
Index Terms: Gender Studies; Hagiography; Religious Life; Theology
Paper 1108-d Bodily Arithmetic: Physical and Sacred Identity in Tristan de Nanteuil
(Language: English)
Blake Gutt, Department of French, University of Cambridge
Index Terms: Gender Studies; Hagiography; Religious Life; Theology
Abstract A vast amount of our knowledge of the experience of impairment in the Middle Ages comes from religious works. An important manifestation of a presumptive saint’s holiness was their capacity to perform mystically curative healings to return their devotees to an able-bodied state. But medieval saints did not just tend to those with impairment. Some saints were themselves explicitly physically impaired, either permanently or temporarily. Saints’ ascetic self-mortification could also lead to impairment. In all instances, the saint’s body is divergent to the able-bodied norm of those around them, the non-saintly. It operates as a vector of the divine in miraculous healing of others; a receptacle of the divine in their ability to withstand extreme ascetic degradation. What is at stake if we consider the medieval saint’s body as impaired, disabled, emphatically non-able-bodied?

Ultimately, this panel seeks to interrogate the ways in which the body – be that the saintly body, the disabled body, and/or the saintly and disabled body – acts as a site of embodied knowledge. More specifically, it aims to consider the body as a site of somatic memorialization: the corporeal matter of memory formation, memory retention, and temporal disturbance. How do impairments – writ on holy and profane bodies alike – bear witness to events, subject positions, even evanescent truths? And what does this form of productive bodily witnessing bring to bear on the concept of disability itself? This panel is comprised of four 15-minute papers.

More infos on the IMC Leeds website !