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Health and Disease in the Middle Ages

by Ed Hagen last modified Dec 01, 2011 06:55 PM
June 24-July 28, 2012. Applications are being sought for a five-week Seminar for College and University Teachers on “Health and Disease in the Middle Ages,” which will be held June 24 through July 28, 2012, in London, England. Part of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Seminars and Institutes program, the Seminar is sponsored by the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (ACMRS) and will convene at the Wellcome Library, the world’s premier research center for medical history. This Seminar will gather together sixteen scholars (including up to two advanced graduate students) from across the disciplines interested in questions of health, disease, and disability in medieval Europe and the Mediterranean.

A primary goal is to explore how the scientific technologies of assessing disease prevalence and identifying pathogens (particularly leprosy and plague) can inform traditional, humanistic methods (historical, literary, art historical, and linguistic) of investigating cultural responses to disease and disability.  Reciprocally, the Seminar also explores how traditional, humanistic studies of medieval medicine can inform modern scientific studies of historical diseases, which are developing at a rapid pace thanks to new methods in paleopathology and aDNA retrieval and analysis.  The two co-Directors, Monica Green and Rachel Scott, are specialists in the fields of medical history and bioarcheology, respectively, and they will be aided by three guest lecturers who bring additional perspectives to interdisciplinary dialogue. Special emphasis is placed on assisting participants with their independent research projects relating to the History of Medicine.

The Seminar is designed for those with no prior background in medical history.  The ideal participant will be a faculty member at a university or college, or an advanced graduate student, working in the humanities, social sciences, or natural sciences with an interest in research on medieval medicine.  The NEH requires that applicants be United States citizens, residents of U.S. jurisdictions, or foreign nationals who have been residing in the United States or its territories for the last three years.  Applications are due March 1, 2012.

For more information, see or e-mail

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