Proposals are invited for sessions on The Body and the Text: Medical Humanities and Medieval Literature, c. 1150 – 1550, to be convened at the Leeds International Medieval Congress, 1-4 July 2019.
Recent years have witnessed a surge in scholarship in the field of the Medical Humanities. In considering medicine in its cultural and social contexts, the Medical Humanities has symbolised a ‘paradigm shift away from what might be called medical reductionism to medical holism, where patients are not reduced to diseases and bodies but rather are seen as whole persons in contexts and in relations’ (Cole et al, 2015:8). In seeking to merge disciplines and foster interactive dialogues, this area of research is inherently inclusive, dynamic, and elastic. Furthermore, since the topics of science, medicine, physiology, religion, astrology, and magic were often discussed within the same medieval texts and contexts, the multidisciplinarity of the Medical Humanities is particularly apt for Medieval Studies.
We therefore seek to put together a session or sessions on Medieval Literature and the Medical Humanities. Our focus is global and will include proposals from two complementary directions: how are medicine, health and wellbeing represented in medieval and early modern literature? How may literary texts from this period contribute to training and practice in the Medical Humanities?
- Representations of health and sickness in literary texts;
- Depictions of medical knowledge, practice and practitioners in literary texts;
- Representations of the senses and / or emotions;
- The relationship between medicine and religion in the Middle Ages;
- Engagement with texts (reading and listening) as a therapeutic practice in the Middle Ages;
- A consideration of how medieval literature might contribute to training and practice in the Medical Humanities;
- Defining the Medical Humanities in a medieval context.
Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be submitted to the session organisers DrAlison Williams (firstname.lastname@example.org)