"Care and Cure: Diseases, Disabilities and Therapies"

RIAH thin image barHave you ever wondered about the ways in which diseases were treated or cured before the discovery of penicillin? Have you ever thought about the implications of  barbers as early surgeons? How were hospitals structured in the medieval and early modern periods and who worked in them and how? What place do medicine and medicinal therapies take up in the literature of the periods and what were the implications for the salvation of the soul if the body fell sick or was disabled in any way? How were women involved in providing early cures and therapies? These and more questions regarding medieval and early illnesses and disabilities are to be addressed in a two-day symposium being organised by the Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Research on June 14th and 15th this summer. The line-up brings together world renowned scholars in the field with up-and-coming new researchers, including postgraduate students, and generous funding has been received from Bangor University’s Institute for Medieval and Early Modern Research (IMEMS) as well as from the scholarly journal Medium Aevum to facilitate a whole day of postgraduate-driven events. These will include two workshops, led by Irina Metzler and David Turner of Swansea University, and Julia Boffey of Queen Mary University, London, on medieval and early-modern manuscripts housing images and texts concerning illness and disability, followed by a full session focussing on postgraduate research papers.

The second day of the symposium presents papers by a number of Swansea University experts contributing to a research cluster in the field: Alison Williams; David Turner; Trish Skinner; Irina Metzler, Anne Borsay. The keynote lectures will be delivered by Peter Biller of the University of York and Monica Green of Arizona State University, both of whom have contributed hugely to this growing area of research interest, and MEMO is delighted to be able to welcome them to Swansea.

This promises to be a very exciting and informative two-day event. For students and staff who may be interested in attending one or both days, please see the symposium website at: http://www.swan.ac.uk/riah/researchgroups/memo/care-and-cure-symposium-2012/ or contact Liz Herbert McAvoy (e.mcavoy@swan.ac.uk).