Call for papers
This session will explore the material contexts of medical learning and practice, as well as the broader library contexts in which medical texts were transmitted and created. Medical texts were often transmitted within large compilations devoted entirely to health and healing, but numerous short texts connected with healing were added into blank spaces in volumes which were not primarily devoted to medicine or healing. This session seeks to address a number of questions about the relationship between medicine and its material transmission in the central and high Middle Ages: how can palaeographical and codicological study of manuscripts add to understanding the theory and practice of medicine in the central and high Middle Ages? how far it is possible to distinguish between recipes, prayers, or charms in these texts, and did medieval writers signal these differences in any particular ways? were certain kinds of books or particular types of spaces in books especially popular for adding material? how should we understand the relationship of surviving books to the transmission of medical knowledge and healing practices in the central and high Middle Ages? were certain types of texts – such as ‘scientific’, astronomical or computistical texts – especially likely to be copied alongside texts intended for health and healing? and how did medical knowledge relate to other kinds of study in this period – was it considered to be part of ‘science’? By investigating the physical contexts of medical knowledge – including the presence of medical books in surviving book lists, or descriptions of medical books being used in narrative texts – this session aims to shed light on the material form of the knowledge employed for studying and effecting health and healing in the central and high Middle Ages.
Please send abstract submissions (or any questions) to Helen Foxhall Forbes (firstname.lastname@example.org) by September 14th.