Tuesday, July 23, 2019

CFP: "Medicine and Medical Practice in the Arthurian World"
International Arthurian Society-North American Branch-sponsored session
ICMS “Kalamazoo” 2020
The Arthurian legend is renowned for scenes of tournaments, jousts, and great battles; instances of poisoning; and rescues of damsels and battling of various monsters. All such episodes feature the damaging of one or more human bodies. When that occurs, what are the medicines and medical practices employed, who wields them, and how effective are they? While recent studies have examined the wounds, bleeding, and deaths of Arthurian figures, this session seeks to open a conversation on the medicines and medical practices used to intercede and provide relief and healing. Questions and approaches might include: is there a gendered component to healing practices in the Arthurian legend? Is there an ethics system, or are there competing ethical systems, at play in the use of medicines and medical practices in Arthurian texts? How do medicines and medical practices in Arthurian texts compare to their real-world counterparts? Are there contradictory representations of medicines and medical practices present in Arthurian texts and, if so, how should we understand those contradictions? Is there a relationship between a damsel’s purity and/or a knight’s worshipfulness and how effective medicine or medical practices are in their hands as practitioners or on their bodies as patients? Do medicine and/or medical practices ever depend upon in whole or part an intervention by God or some other supernatural figure and, if so, how should we understand the intersection or science and religion in those moments? Is there an epistemology of medicines locatable in Arthurian texts? Is there some pattern discernible in when medicines and medical practices do and do not work? How are medicine and medical practices portrayed in Arthurian films and television shows?
Session format: 15-20-minute papers
Please send your 300-word abstract and completed PIF form to David Johnson, djohnson@fsu.edu, and Melissa Ridley Elmes, MElmes@lindenwood.edu, by September 15.

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