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Medicine in early modern Italy

The Medici Archive Project in Florence organises a conference entitled “Medicine in early modern Italy: Between theory and practice, 1500-1700” on Friday, November 19, 2021.

Traditionally, the history of medicine in early modern Italy was a field divided sharply into the study of theory and the study of practice, yet this separation was neither equal nor historically justified. Whereas serious attention was given early on to the intellectual foundations of the discipline, far less attention was directed to the consideration of how and when this body of knowledge was translated into practical expressions such as recipes, cures, procedures, and public measures (and vice-versa). A corrective to this imbalance has emerged in the past decades, with scholars adopting, for instance, patient-centered perspectives an exploration of the role of the body, emotions and gender, and the full range of formal and informal practitioners. Further opportunities for understanding the practice of medicine have arisen whenever historians of medicine have engaged with other disciplines, including art and architectural history, religious studies, environmental history, book history, and economic history.

The aim of this conference is to redress the historiographic bifurcation of studies of medical theory and studies of medical practice. We seek papers that reveal the entangled interrelationship between these two realms in a period that was characterized by the rise of empirical experimentation, as well as the growing need to incorporate novel drugs and unfamiliar diseases into the hoary paradigms of professional medicine.

More information is in the call for papers.
Deadline call for papers: September 19, 2021.