Objects, Images, and Spaces of Health
This group provides a forum for scholarly work on the premodern period that connects histories of science, technology, and health, with histories of art, visual culture, and material culture. In order to ensure a broad range of approaches and opinions within the working group, its key terms will be broadly defined in all respects: we see "premodernity" stretching backwards from the seventeenth century to antiquity; "health" as incorporating global histories of both institutional medicine and more vernacular practices and personnel of healing; and "visual and material culture" ranging from the built environment to the smaller-scale world of images, diagrams, tools, and other technical objects.
The goal of the working group is to focus on collaborating over problems, not on polished papers. Monthly 90-minute virtual discussions focus on a pre-circulated piece of writing: book chapters, articles, position pieces, book proposals, or any other format. After a brief 5-minute introduction by the author and 10-minute commentary by a designated respondent, the rest of the session focuses on questions, discussion, and debate. We will also use this group as an opportunity to collaborate over resources, hosting a shared Google drive or similar to pool both historical, visual, and scholarly materials of relevance to group members.
Please set your timezone at https://www.chstm.org/user
Consortium Respectful Behavior Policy
Participants at Consortium activities will treat each other with respect and consideration to create a collegial, inclusive, and professional environment that is free from any form of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation.
Participants will avoid any inappropriate actions or statements based on individual characteristics such as age, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, nationality, political affiliation, ability status, educational background, or any other characteristic protected by law. Disruptive or harassing behavior of any kind will not be tolerated. Harassment includes but is not limited to inappropriate or intimidating behavior and language, unwelcome jokes or comments, unwanted touching or attention, offensive images, photography without permission, and stalking.
Participants may send reports or concerns about violations of this policy to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, December 8, 2023 11:00 am to 12:30 pm EST
"Anatomy and the Early Académie Royale des Sciences"
Katherine Reinhart (Binghamton)
Response: Antoine Gallay (Geneva)
Friday, January 12, 2024 11:00 am to 12:30 pm EST
"Roundtable: The Malleable Body: Surgeons, Artisans and Amputees in Early Modern Germany (Manchester UP, 2023)"
Heidi Hausse (Auburn)
Pamela O. Long (Independent)
Alisha Rankin (Tufts)
Paolo Savioa (Bologna)
Friday, February 9, 2024 11:00 am to 12:30 pm EST
"Translating New World Drugs in Late Renaissance Italy: The Case of Indies Balsam"
Sharon Strocchia (Emory)
Response: Mackenzie Cooley (Hamilton)
Friday, March 8, 2024 11:00 am to 12:30 pm EST
"Ghosts in Wellcome's Medieval Galleries"
Lauren Rozenberg (UEA/Leverhulme)
Friday, April 12, 2024 11:00 am to 12:30 pm EDT
"Discussion: Objects, Images, and Spaces of Health... for Broad Publics"
Mary Fissell (Johns Hopkins)
Jack Hartnell (UEA)
Friday, May 10, 2024 11:00 am to 12:30 pm EDT
November 10, 2023
"Marginal Recipes, Major Insights: Exploring the Manuscript Contexts of Early Medieval Medical Knowledge"
Claire Burridge (Sheffield)
Response: Debby Banham (Cambridge)
October 13, 2023
"'The Männel is a root, it should be called an Allraune': A Mandrake, Magic, and Money in Seventeenth-Century Saxony"
Tara Nummedal (Brown)
Response: Alisha Rankin (Tufts)
September 8, 2023
*Note Special Time*
"Figuring Racial Difference in Early Nineteenth-Century France"
Stephanie O'Rourke (St Andrews)
Response: Suman Seth (Cornell)
As framing for the piece, Stephanie says:
This text is the fourth and final chapter of my current book manuscript. This book argues that in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, picturing landscape functioned as the primary means through which European artists grappled with an enormous transformation in how humans relate to the natural world, characterized by the management and extraction of “natural resources” on an unprecedented scale and within a global network. This entailed, among other things, employing novel systems for measuring, analyzing, and manipulating natural phenomena across vast distances. The challenge for artists during this period lay in creating pictorial modes that could be commensurate with such procedures. Multi-national in its scope, this book explores how European landscapes pictured the natural environment in relation to specific extractive industries such as mining and timber harvesting as well as emerging concepts about race, climate, and waste operative within the continent and its colonial networks.
June 9, 2023
"Who Is a Maker? Artisan Knowledge in Medieval India."
Eric Gurevitch (Vanderbilt)
Response: Tillmann Taape (Herzog August Biliothek)
May 12, 2023
"Aromatic Medicines and Divine Scents in Women's Medicine"
Wee-Siang Margaret Ng (College of Wooster)
Response: Jack Hartnell (UEA)
April 14, 2023
"Can Mixtures Be Identified by Touch? The Reception of Galen’s De complexionibus in Italian Renaissance Medicine"
Viktoria von Hoffmann (FNRS / Liège)
Response: Anita Guerrini (Oregon State)
March 10, 2023
“Cutting the Body: Jacopo Berengario da Carpi and the Anatomical Woodcut”
Ariella Minden (Toronto / Bibliotheca Hertziana - Max Planck Institute for Art History)
Response: Taylor McCall (Medieval Academy)
February 10, 2023
Epistemic Images: A Discussion
With Sietske Fransen (Bibliotheca Hertziana - Max Planck Institute for Art History)
Response: Alicia Petersen (Yale)... and all OISH Members
December 9, 2022
Meredith Gamer (Columbia University)
“Bodies of Instruction"
Comment by Mary Fissell (John Hopkins University)
November 11, 2022
Ben Breen (University of California, Santa Cruz)
"Colonial Magic and Contested Spaces of Healing in the Seventeenth Century Indian Ocean and Atlantic Worlds"
Comment by Philippa Carter (University of Cambridge)
Jack Hartnell is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of East Anglia, UK, where his research and teaching focus on the visual culture of late medieval and early renaissance medicine, cartography, and mathematics. In 2019–20 he was the Dibner Fellow in the History of Science and Technology at the Huntington Library in California. Before starting at UEA in 2017 he held positions at Columbia University, The Courtauld Institute of Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte in Berlin. He is the author of Medieval Bodies (Wellcome, 2018) and has a forthcoming book provisionally entitled Wound Man: The Many Lives of a Medieval Surgical Image.
Elaine Leong is Lecturer in History at University College London, UK. She is the author of Recipes and Everyday Knowledge: Medicine, Science and the Household in Early Modern England and co-editor of Secrets and Knowledge in Medicine and Science 1500-1800 (Ashgate, 2011), Working with Paper: Gendered Practices in the History of Knowledge (Pittsburgh, 2019) and the Cultural History of Medicine in the Renaissance (Bloomsbury, 2021). She serves as co-editor of Osiris and the Social Histories of Medicine book series at Manchester University Press. Her current projects include a book-length project provisionally titled Reading Riviére in Early Modern England and “Technologies of Health c. 1450-1750” which is funded by a Wellcome Trust University Award