Food, Feast and Famine
Call for Papers
International Medieval Congress – Leeds, UK, 4-7 July 2016
The history of medieval food is a burgeoning field of research but its health dimensions are still neglected (see attached flier for more details). In order to redress some aspects of this neglect, up to three sessions are proposed for IMC 2016 for its special thematic strand of Food, Feast and Famine. The potential sessions are:
1 – Ingestion and digestion: anatomy, physiology, pathology
Proposals for this theme could consider medieval theories of digestion, medieval understanding of the parts of the body involved and their functions – which might also involve wider cultural beliefs about the mouth, teeth, stomach, intestines, evacuation, etc – and ideas about what might go wrong with these processes and members and what could be done about it.
2 – Food-related illness and injury
Proposals for this theme could consider (fears of) food poisoning (both intentional and as a result of adulteration or other issue), choking, cooking and other food-related occupational injuries, cases of diarrhoea or dysentery linked to food intake, unusual unintentional ingestion e.g. leeches, snakes, spiders, or status-related illness due to not being able to eat the foods deemed appropriate to one’s station.
3 – Hunger, obesity and emaciation as health problems
Proposals for this theme could include food cravings, surfeit, alcoholism, mobility problems linked to obesity, hunger as a sign of illness/cure, any perceived medieval relationship between hunger, poverty and disease, emaciation as sign of voluntary fasting (where perceived to be a health problem), or emaciation as a sign of involuntary starvation or serious illness (the latter already recognized in the Hippocratic corpus).
Please send a title and a 200-word abstract to Iona McCleery at the University of Leeds by 10 September 2015 via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please visit https://www.leeds.ac.uk/ims/imc/imc2016_call.html for more details on the congress including estimated registration and accommodation costs and the bursary fund.