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Exploring Medieval Health Crises: Authority, Practice, & Knowledge (session at IMC Leeds 2024)

From epidemics and famine to barber surgeons and midwives, healing during the Middle Ages represented the ultimate response to social and personal crises. While the medieval medical experience was often a tale of hardship and loss, historians of medicine continue to demonstrate that healing knowledge and practice in this period also revealed remarkable resilience, practicality, and innovation. In these sessions, Medica hopes to explore how society and individuals coped with health crises and the healing interventions that resulted from these events.

We, therefore, invite papers that explore the many varied types of crises found within the scope of medieval health and healing. Topics to be addressed include but are not limited to:

  • Conflict and change within the profession of healers, midwives, barber surgeons, and/or physicians
  • Approaches to epidemics and famine
  • Emotional, physical, or mental responses to a crisis of personal health
  • Gendered approaches to health crises
  • Responses to medical crises within medieval society including treatments,

    techniques, and remedies

  • Governmental and Church reactions to health crises
  • Health crises and healing in visual or material culture
  • Interdisciplinary studies in premodern healing

Please send your proposals of 250 words and a short bio to Medica: the Society for the Study of Healing in the Middle Ages by 15 September.

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