samedi 3 septembre 2016

Sessions médicales à Kalmazoo

Medical sessions at Kalamazoo

Call for papers

Medica: The Society for the Study of Healing in the Middle Ages is seeking proposals for our two sessions exploring the material culture of healing at the upcoming meeting of the 52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan from May 11-14, 2017.

We are also seeking a participant for a roundtable session on “Medieval Tools,” which will be co-sponsored AVISTA (The Association Villard de Honnecourt for the Interdisciplinary Study of Technology, Science, and Art), DISTAFF (Discussion, Interpretation, and Study of Textile Arts, Fabrics, and Fashion), Societas Magica, The Research Group on Manuscript Evidence, and EXARC.

The paper sessions are:

1)  Materia Medica: Plants, Animals, and Minerals in Healing
This session invites papers that investigate how medieval healers employed a wide range of materials drawn from plants, animals, and minerals to treat their patients. Papers can examine medieval manuals of herbal medicine to learn about herbal cures and dietary prescriptions in practice and theory. Papers can also examine bestiaries or hunting manuals for insight into the medicinal value of animal parts. In addition to examining the specific materials used in cures, papers might consider the production and sale of medicinal remedies. This opens the opportunity to explore subjects like the development of monastic herbal gardens, the trade routes by which medicinal materials reached their market, and the regulation of apothecary shops. The aim of the session is to bring together scholars considering the theory behind developing medicinal cures as well as the material culture that shapes those cures.

2) Surgeons and Their Tools
This session seeks papers that examine the theory and practice of medieval surgery. This could include looking at the training of craft surgeons and/or the development of surgery curricula at university medical school. Papers that examine specific surgical techniques, the application of surgery to treat specific conditions, or the tools used by surgeons, are of special interest. As with the session on "materia medica" this session also encourages papers that examine the material culture of medieval surgical practice as witnessed from textual and artistic perspectives.

Roundtable: Medieval Tools
This roundtable session provides an opportunity for short presentations, demonstration, and discussion of medieval tools and technology from various realms, including artistic production, agricultural labor, construction, shipbuilding, and household use. Medica seeks a participant who could contribute to the roundtable with a discussion of the use of tools in medical settings, or for the purposes of personal health or hygiene. The organizers are encouraging participants to bring illustrations and/or replicas of tools, although this is not required.

Though not required, an applicant for the roundtable would also be welcome to submit a paper proposal to one of the paper sessions

I would suggest for MEDMED-L readers that this roundtable could allow a speaker to follow up on the recent queries concerning “ancient bottom wipers,” or the Roman latrine stick/sponge and its use for personal hygiene.

If interested in presenting for either of the paper sessions and/or the roundtable, please submit an abstract of roughly 250-300 words along with a Participant Information Form (PIF), which can be found at All proposal materials are due by September 15, 2016.

If you have questions about either of the sessions, or would like to submit an abstract, please direct emails to Harry York at

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