Lecture by Dr Gabriella Zuccolin (University of Cambridge)
Tuesday (27th October)
Doors open at 6pm prompt, the seminar will start at 6.15pm.
Wellcome Library, 183 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BE.
By 1600 only a few gynaecological texts written in Latin and none of those written in vernacular languages in the Middle Ages had made the transition into print. In spite of this apparent lack of interest in the subject, the 16th century saw the appearance, Europe-wide, of new Latin gynaecological texts, the birth of obstetrical writing, especially in the vernacular, and the creation of a new audience for these texts: midwives. This state of affairs prompts many questions. How ‘new’ were these vernacular texts? To what extent were they the products of local practices? By engaging with the transition from medieval to Renaissance cultures of reading and disseminating knowledge, I will propose a survey of newly authored printed vernacular works on childbirth in Europe, and will seek to understand how these new books emerged from – and related to – a Latinate and manuscript medical culture. Building on recent landmark monographs which seek to understand what happened to ‘women’s medicine’ in the 16th and 17th centuries, the paper will focus on current research on the topic and – by giving due attention to Latin sources circulating in the later Middle Ages and the 16th century – will suggest possible solutions to the apparent gulf separating the medieval manuscript texts, the new early modern print literature, and their respective audiences.
2015/16 History of Pre-Modern Medicine
More info here: http://blog.wellcomelibrary.org/2015/10/womens-medicine-between-script-and-print-c-1450-1600/