mercredi 12 novembre 2014

Médiévalisme et humanités médicales

Medievalism and the Medical Humanities

Call for papers

Postmedieval, 2017, Volume 8, Issue 2
Editors: Jamie McKinstry (Durham University) and Corinne Saunders (Durham University)

Submissions are due by 12th December 2014.

Medicine, health, and wellbeing are perennial concerns and interests throughout the medieval period. They dictate an individual's life and abilities whilst on earth, influence their interaction with the world around them, and define one's understanding of an eventual, eternal state of existence. There are many medical texts containing diagnoses, remedies, theories, and systems that attempt to classify and explain human health; however, medieval medicine is also influenced and interpreted by many non-medical spheres. The developing field of medical humanities recognises that medicine cannot be viewed in isolation: whether in the twenty-first century, or any historical period, medicine is always in dialogue with a range of other factors including social influences, cultural attitudes, and individual, human experiences and sensibilities. Medical humanities, therefore, offers various opportunities to examine medicine, health and wellbeing in the medieval period, expanding the reach of medicine into personal, social, cultural, and religious realms. The dialogue is dynamic: although medicine can shape society, so too can humanity, in its broadest sense, influence the approach of medicine. Literature of the medieval period reveals great sensitivity to wellbeing and existence, employing imaginative forms and metaphors to classify and communicate physical and mental states. In addition, important layers of religious interpretation colour attitudes to certain conditions including the registers of sin, judgement, suffering, and salvation. Great creativity is displayed as humans react to their own conditions, manufacturing supernatural, astrological, and mystical explanations which are informed by, but developed beyond, the opinions and classifications of medieval medicine itself.

This issue of postmedieval seeks to explore the possibilities that the medical humanities can offer in medieval studies and further promote the mutual benefits that are already emerging. The fluid methodologies of medical humanities allow us to more accurately sketch the multiple influences upon individual and collective views of health, medicine and wellbeing in the medieval period. Similarly, by applying the medieval model to twenty-first century medical humanities we define the areas within which humans respond to and interpret health and wellbeing and then, from which, medicine itself might learn and adapt. The approach allows us to better understand the medieval world but also develops our definition of and approach to medical humanities, viewed through a medieval lens or inside a medieval frame of reference.

Essays discuss medical humanities in its broadest sense and references may be made to any aspect of medieval studies including literature, history, theology, archaeology, manuscript studies, medieval medicine, and the medieval sciences. Possible areas for the issue's investigation might include (but are by no means limited to):
  • Theoretical questions and challenges regarding the combination of medieval studies and the medical humanities and the possibilities for such research in the twenty-first century (including areas such as research opportunities, archival access, and new technology).
  • The differences in inter-disciplinary dialogue between medieval studies and the medical humanities and the tradition of medical research in medieval studies
  • Experiences, perceptions, and reflections on health and wellbeing in medieval literature and the understanding of mind, body, and affect.
  • Human experience and the expression of health and wellness, including metaphors of physicality and mentality.
  • The importance of gender (literal or in terms of methodology) when combining medieval studies and the medical humanities.
  • Visions, hallucinations, and the wonder of bodily and mental experience.
  • Advances in medieval medicine such as anatomy and surgery and the dissemination of new medical understanding.
  • The social attitudes towards disease and disability, including social stigma.
  • The narration of illness and the presentation or explanation of suffering and death.
  • Religious influences on health and/or the theological interpretations of illness, including the relationship between spirituality, suffering, and salvation.
  • The significance of historical and cultural events and their influence on the medical/human dynamic such as epidemics, wars, politics.
  • The role of the human or patient in medieval medicine, the doctor/patient relationship, and the teaching of medicine

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