IMC 2017: Sessions

Session 1018: Exceptionally Healthy?: Exploring Disease, Disfigurement, and Disability as the Norm in Medieval Culture

Wednesday 5 July 2017, 09.00-10.30

Sponsor:Centre for Medieval & Early Modern Research (MEMO), Swansea University / Wellcome 'Effaced' Project, Swansea University
Organiser:Patricia E. Skinner, Centre for Medieval & Early Modern Research (MEMO), Swansea University
Moderator/Chair:Elma Brenner, Wellcome Library, London
Paper 1018-aEpilepsy and Otherness: The Prophet and His Detractors
(Language: English)
Hillary Burgardt, Department of Classics, Ancient History & Egyptology, Swansea University
Index terms: Medicine, Rhetoric, Sermons and Preaching, Social History
Paper 1018-b'Normality' and the 'Other' at the End of the World: Sickness and Disability in the Passio Olavi
(Language: English)
Karl Christian Alvestad, Department of History, University of Winchester
Index terms: Medicine, Religious Life, Social History
Paper 1018-cLooking Strange: A Positive Asset?
(Language: English)
Patricia E. Skinner, Centre for Medieval & Early Modern Research (MEMO), Swansea University
Index terms: Medicine, Religious Life, Social History
Abstract

Engaging with the problematic category ‘others’, this sessions takes as its starting point the sheer ubiquity of sick, disfigured and disabled persons in medieval narrative and legal texts, and ask whether it is tenable to propose good health as a ‘normal’ human state between 500 and 1500CE. The panellists take a queer view that challenges the paradigmatic position of those who were sick, disfigured or incapacitated as excluded or ‘on the margins’, and instead illustrates the necessity of inclusion of these groups in discourses of power and piety.