Call For Papers: Mental Health in the Medieval and Early Modern World

Modern stereotypes abound regarding how mental health was perceived during the medieval and early modern period ranging from mental illness being caused by sin to the idea that the attainment of mental wellbeing could only be achieved through the balancing of the bodily humours. But mental health was a more complex and expansive subject of discourse throughout the period that was widely explored in medical treatises, religious tracts and sermons, and prominent in art and literature, which speaks to a more subtle understanding of the human mental state.

This conference aims to look at both the changing and continuing perceptions of mental health throughout the medieval and early modern period.

We welcome papers from the fields of book culture and manuscript studies, history, material culture, medicine, art, and literature, but not limited to, the following broad headings:

  • Suicide
  • Marginal lives
  • Melancholy / Depression
  • Insanity / Mental disorder
  • Rapture / Ecstasy
  • Bodily humours
  • Addiction
  • Anguish
  • Therapies
  • Meditation / Mindfulness / Well-being
  • Imagination
  • Dreams / Visions / Memory
  • Criminality
  • Self-harm
  • Solitude
  • Natural / Kind / Unnatural

Keynote speaker: Professor Yasmin Haskell (The University of Western Australia)

The conference organisers invite proposals for 20-minute papers. Please send a paper title, 250-word abstract, and a short (no more than 100-word) biography to: [email protected] by 31 May 2019.

Enquiries: [email protected]

Conference website: https://conference.pmrg.org.au

AGM 2019 and Public Lecture ‘ “Go Draw Your Gourds!”: Some Editors and Readers of Cassius Dio in the 15th and 16th Centuries’

This year’s PMRG Annual General Meeting will be be held on Monday 18 March 2019. The meeting will begin at 6pm, in Arts Lecture Room 8 (first floor, Arts Building), UWA.The meeting will be followed, at approximately 6:30pm, by the 2019 AGM Lecture by Dr Chris Mallan (UWA): ‘”Go Draw Your Gourds!”: Some Editors and Readers of Cassius Dio in the 15th and 16th Centuries.’

Chris Mallan is a Senior Lecturer in Classics and Ancient History at the University of Western Australia. Chris’ research focusses on Greek Historiography under the Roman Empire and the reception of this tradition in Byzantium. He is currently working on a Commentary on Books 57 and 58 of Cassius Dio’s Roman History for OUP. Before joining UWA in 2018, Chris held teaching posts at St Benet’s Hall (Oxford) and the Queen’s College (Oxford).

This lecture examines the evidence for the transmission and reception of Cassius Dio’s Roman History in Western Europe during the 15th and 16th centuries. The first part will focus on the editorial history of the Roman History leading up to the publication of the editio princeps in 1548. The second part will examine the marginalia corresponding to excerpts from Dio’s history in Sir Thomas Smith’s copy of Erasmus’ Scriptores Historiae Augustae (Queens’ College Cambridge F.2.15, pp. 131-147).

This is a free event, to which all are welcome. RSVPs are not required.

Image: ‘Sir Thomas Smyth, 1513 – 1577. Secretary of State and Diplomatist’ by Jacobus Houbraken. From https://www.nationalgalleries.org/art-and-artists/39680/sir-thomas-smyth-1513-1577-secretary-state-and-diplomatist-1743)

AGM 2018 & Public Lecture: ‘Music, Magic and Meraviglia: The Politics and Poetics of Festival in Medici Florence’

This year’s PMRG Annual General Meeting will be be held on Thursday 1 March 2018. The meeting will begin at 6pm, in Arts Lecture Room 5 (G.61, ground floor, Arts Building), UWA.

The meeting will be followed, at approximately 6.30pm, by the 2018 AGM Lecture. This is a free event, to which all are welcome. RSVPs are not required.

“Music, Magic and Meraviglia: The Politics and Poetics of Festival in Medici Florence”

by Dr Jennifer Halton

The Florentine festival of 1539 has long been noted by scholars as an occasion of historical importance and prestige for the alliance it forged between the Houses of Medici and Habsburg. The musical, architectural and visual programmes for the festival have been understood to be representative of an overt political agenda, bolstering Tuscan and international relations. However, this talk reveals that reevaluating the place of emotions in musical theory and practice can enrich our understanding of the intricate relationship between music, magic and the affective practice of performing meraviglia on the early modern stage. To illustrate this relationship, the talk will draw upon a number of musico-theatrical interludes (composed by Francesco Corteccia and staged by Giovan Battista Strozzi) performed at the Palazzo Medici on 9 July 1539.

Jennifer Halton is a researcher and curator with a diverse interest in collaboration across academia and the arts. She holds a PhD in Musicology from Maynooth University, Ireland, funded by the Irish Research Council. Her PhD thesis, ‘Mapping the Cine-Metropolis: Redefining Festival in Early Modern Florence’ is an interdisciplinary study of the phenomenology of music and space in sixteenth-century Florence. Taking the cultural practice of festivals as a conduit for analysing the relationship between people, place and identity, her research is framed by a methodology grounded in architectural, cultural and film theory. She is the founder of the Metamorphosis Project, an award-winning collaborative of academics and artists in Ireland, and has worked as a guest and educational curator with the Irish Architecture Foundation and the Illuminations Gallery at Maynooth University.

PMRG AGM & Public Lecture: “Love in a Time of War: Correspondence of the French Court in the Last Days of the Italian Wars”

This year’s PMRG Annual General Meeting will be be held on Tuesday 28 March 2017. The meeting will begin at 6pm, in the Austin Lecture Hall (1.59, first floor, Arts Building), UWA.

The meeting will be followed, at approximately 6.30pm, by the 2017 AGM Lecture. This is a free event, to which all are welcome. RSVPs are not required.

“Love in a Time of War: Correspondence of the French Court in the Last Days of the Italian Wars”

by Professor Susan Broomhall

Jean Clouet, Portrait of Anne de Montmorency, c.1530In the last campaigns of the Italian Wars, a conflict that had divided European states for more than fifty years, four key political protagonists in France exchanged letters. French campaigns against Habsburg forces in the north had separated the king, Henri II, from his queen, Catherine de’ Medici, his mistress, Diane de Poitiers, Duchess of Valentinois, and his chief military advisor, the constable Anne de Montmorency. In doing so, four individuals whose political fates were tightly interwoven in orientation around their monarch took to letters to express their hopes, desires and fears at war.

Susan Broomhall is Professor of History at The University of Western Australia and Director of the Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies. She was a Foundation Chief Investigator in the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions. She became an Honorary Chief Investigator in 2014, having taken up an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship. She is currently working on a study of emotions in the letters of Catherine de Medici.