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.

CFP – The Medieval Brain Workshop, University of York, March 10th and 11th, 2017.

The Medieval Brain Workshop. University of York, 10th & 11th March 2017.

As we research aspects of the medieval brain, we encounter complications generated by medieval thought and twenty-first century medicine and neurology alike. Our understanding of modern-day neurology, psychiatry, disability studies, and psychology rests on shifting sands. Not only do we struggle with medieval terminology concerning the brain, but we have to connect it with a constantly-moving target of modern understanding. Though we strive to avoid interpreting the past using presentist terms, it is difficult – or impossible – to work independently of the framework of our own modern understanding. This makes research into the medieval brain and ways of thinking both challenging and exciting. As we strive to know more about specifically medieval experiences, while simultaneously widening our understanding of the brain today, we much negotiate a great deal of complexity.

In this two-day workshop, to be held at the University of York on Friday 10th and Saturday 11th March 2017 under the auspices of the Centre for Chronic Diseases and Disorders, we will explore the topic of ‘the medieval brain’ in the widest possible sense. The ultimate aim is to provide a forum for discussion, stimulating new collaborations from a multitude of voices on, and approaches to, the theme.

This call is for papers to comprise a series of themed sessions of papers and/or roundtables that approach the subject from a range of different, or an interweaving of, disciplines. Potential topics of discussion might include, but are not restricted to:

  • Mental health
  • Neurology
  • The history of emotions
  • Disability and impairment
  • Terminology and the brain
  • Ageing and thinking
  • Retrospective diagnosis and the Middle Ages
  • Interdisciplinary practice and the brain
  • The care of the sick
  • Herbals and medieval medical texts

Research that grapples with terminology, combines unconventional disciplinary approaches, and/or sparks debates around the themes is particularly welcome. We will be encouraging diversity, and welcome speakers from all backgrounds, including those from outside of traditional academia. All efforts will be made to ensure that the conference is made accessible to those who are not able to attend through live-tweeting and through this blog.

Please send abstracts of up to 250 words for independent papers, or expressiond of interest for roundtable topics/themed paper panels, by Friday 21st October, to Deborah Thorpe at: deborah.thorpe@york.ac.uk.

 

Find the Call for paper on their blog for a two-day interdisciplinary workshop, supported by the Centre for Chronic Diseases and Disorders at the University of York.