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

Workshop – Power, Piety and Plague: the Northern Church in the 14th Century, by Medieval Studies Research Group, Lincoln – 22 April

About this Event

The Medieval Studies Research Group (University of Lincoln), The Northern Way, and the Lincoln Record Society invite you to join us for this free, interactive workshop. No experience necessary.

This workshop will explore some of the riches contained within the Registers that were used to record the business of the Archbishops’ of York in the fourteenth century, an era of political turmoil, almost incessant warfare and climatic and public health catastrophes.

‘“The Northern Way”: the Archbishops of York and the North of England, 1304 – 1405’ is an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded research project run by the Borthwick Institute for Archives, University of York, in partnership with The National Archives (TNA). ‘The Northern Way’ seeks to make the content from the 16 Registers for this period, alongside related documents from TNA, more easily searchable and accessible through the development of a digital resource. The workshop will demonstrate how the resource and index can shed light on a range of topics and previously hidden histories about, principally, the North of England but also about the employment and influence of clerks from Lincolnshire in running the diocese of York and the government of England.

You will find out more about Archbishop Melton’s reaction to the, now notorious, Joan of Leeds, a nun from the Priory of St Clements, York. In 1318, with the help of her fellow nuns, Joan faked her own death and buried a dummy of her body, so that she could run away to Beverley and allegedly live a life of ‘carnal lust’. These Registers can provide insights into the religious and political role of the province and its relationship with central government, as well as give fascinating insights into culture, society and piety.

Dr Paul Dryburgh and Dr Marianne Wilson (The Northern Way and Lincoln Record Society)

Link to register

New book – Leprosy and identity in the Middle Ages: From England to the Mediterranean, eds. Elma Brenner and François-Olivier Touati – Manchester University Press, April 2021.

 
For the first time, this volume explores the identities of leprosy sufferers and other people affected by the disease in medieval Europe. The chapters, including contributions by leading voices such as Luke Demaitre, Carole Rawcliffe and Charlotte Roberts, challenge the view that people with leprosy were uniformly excluded and stigmatised. Instead, they reveal the complexity of responses to this disease and the fine line between segregation and integration. Ranging across disciplines, from history to bioarchaeology, Leprosy and identity in the Middle Ages encompass post-medieval perspectives as well as the attitudes and responses of contemporaries. Subjects include hospital care, diet, sanctity, miraculous healing, diagnosis, iconography and public health regulation. This richly illustrated collection presents previously unpublished archival and material sources from England to the Mediterranean.
 

CONTENTS:

 
Introduction – Elma Brenner and François-Olivier Touati
 
Part I: Approaching leprosy and identity
 
  • Reflections on the bioarchaeology of leprosy and identity, past and present – Charlotte Roberts
  • Lepers and leprosy: connections between East and West in the Middle Ages – François-Olivier Touati
  • The disease and the sacred: the leper as a scapegoat in England and Normandy (eleventh-twelfth centuries) – Damien Jeanne
 
Part II: Within the leprosy hospital: between segregation and integration
 
  • ‘A mighty force in the ranks of Christ’s army’: intercession and integration in the medieval English leper hospital – Carole Rawcliffe
  • Saint Mary Magdalen, Winchester: the archaeology and history of an English leprosarium and almshouse – Simon Roffey
  • Diet as a marker of identity in the leprosy hospitals of medieval northern France – Elma Brenner
 
Part III: Beyond the leprosy hospital: the language of poverty and charity
 
  • Good people, poor sick: the social identities of lepers in the late medieval Rhineland – Lucy Barnhouse
  • The clapper as ‘vox miselli’: new perspectives on iconography – Luke Demaitre
 
Part IV: Religious and social identities
 
  • Kissing lepers: Saint Francis and the treatment of lepers in the central Middle Ages – Courtney A. Krolikoski
  • From pilgrim to knight, from monk to bishop: the distorted identities of leprosy within the Order of Saint Lazarus – Rafaël Hyacinthe
  • Connotation and denotation: the construction of the leper in Narbonne and Siena before the plague – Anna M. Peterson
 
Part V: Post-medieval perspectives
 
  • ‘Our loathsome ancestors’: reinventing medieval leprosy for the modern world, 1850-1950 – Kathleen Vongsathorn and Magnus Vollset.
 
 

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

Conférence – Claire Billen et Marc Boone, “Gouverner en temps de pandémie — Une vision historique” – en ligne – 11 Mars 2021

   

Nous avons le plaisir de vous inviter le jeudi 11 mars de 13h à 14h30 au webinaire organisé par la Fondation Universitaire sur « Gouverner en temps de pandémie – Une vision historique » avec les professeurs Claire BILLEN (ULB) et Marc BOONE (UGent), suite à la publication« BANS ET ÉDITS POUR LA VILLE DE TOURNAI EN TEMPS DE PESTE (1349-1351). Les transcriptions retrouvées de Frédéric Hennebert » (Commission Royale pour l’histoire, Bruxelles 2021) (en voie de publication).

Depuis un an, nous sommes complètement immergés dans la pandémie de COVID-19. Une expérience complètement nouvelle pour chacun d’entre nous – y compris le gouvernement. Mais tout au long de l’histoire, l’humanité a été confrontée à des pandémies à de nombreuses reprises. Comment les gens ont-ils réagi à cela dans le passé ? Sur base de manuscrits récemment découverts, les professeurs Claire BILLEN (ULB) et Marc BOONE (UGent) ont étudié le comportement du magistrat de la ville de Tournai lors de l’épidémie de peste au 14ème siècle.

La découverte, parmi les manuscrits de la Bibliothèque de l’Université de Gand, de transcriptions effectuées par Frédéric Hennebert (1800-1857), archiviste de la ville de Tournai, a permis de reconstituer les 30 premières pages du premier Registre aux publications du magistrat urbain, concernant les années 1349-1351. Ce document, disparu dans le bombardement de Tournai en 1940, informe sur les règlementations presque quotidiennes ayant régi la ville, face à une crise multiforme, dominée par l’irruption de la Peste Noire à l’été 1349. Les modalités de la réponse donnée par nos ancêtres médiévaux à la pandémie illustrent le fonctionnement d’une société urbaine, confrontée brutalement à une mortalité hors normes. Avant la redécouverte des transcriptions de Hennebert, l’impact de la Peste Noire sur la ville de Tournai n’était connu que par les écrits d’un témoin direct, l’abbé Gilles Li Muisis, à la tête de l’abbaye bénédictine de Saint-Martin. Les ordonnances urbaines bénéficient de cet éclairage mais complètent également cette description unilatérale.

S’il est téméraire d’établir un parallèle entre l’irruption d’une épidémie inédite au XIVe siècle et l’arrivée inattendue du Covid-19 en Europe, début 2020, certaines réflexions comparatives sont néanmoins possibles. Elles touchent, entre autres, les aspects politiques. La situation sanitaire, loin d’affaiblir le gouvernement urbain de Tournai en 1349, lui a permis, au contraire, de se déployer, d’investir des domaines qui n’étaient pas directement de son ressort. Toutes choses égales par ailleurs, c’est bien un phénomène de cet ordre que nous observons aujourd’hui. Les contestations politiques et juridiques, agitant en ce moment les populations européennes, adversaires des contraintes multiples qui leur sont imposées, appellent une mise en perspective.

Langues utilisées : F et N.

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