CFP: 49th International Congress on Medieval Studies

May 8-11, 2014, Western Michigan University

Call for papers

*Session 1: Herbal Therapies and Medicinal Gardens in Art, Literature, and

Plant-based therapies and medicinal gardens are ubiquitous in medieval healing as evidenced through their images and textual presence in art, literature, and medical texts. The range of employment for herbal therapies includes, but is not limited to treating diseases, assisting with the various stages of conception and pregnancy, and concocting love potions.
We are seeking papers for this session that examine the use and development of plants in medieval pharmaceutical medicines, their application in European and Mediterranean medical texts, their rendition in medieval sculpture and art, their employment as narrative device by medieval authors, their design and layout in medieval hospitals, monasteries, and private residences, and their physical growth and nurture in medieval medicinal gardens. Interdisciplinary inquiries and multiple perspectives are encouraged (e.g. studies in medical history, literature, art, botany, material and textual culture, hagiography, architecture, etc.).

*Session 2: Animal, Vegetable, and Mineral: Textual and Material Evidence of Medieval Healing*

Recent research has opened new doors into understanding the influence of medical theorists on the day-to-day practice or medieval healers. From increasing availability of primary texts to osteoarcheological and biomolecular investigations, scholars have expanded the knowledge base for interdisciplinary inquiries into the actual and the perceived practices of medieval healers in day-to-day common individual illness as well as expansive epidemiological concerns, such as leprosy and plague. This session hopes to stimulate discussion on the breadth of topics appertaining to medieval healing as rendered in European, Arabic, and Asian texts, as revealed in skeletal remains, and as imagined in literary, artistic, and architectural contexts and invites both paper proposals that introduce the expanding areas of research (e.g. scientific and digital developments) as well as those that deepen our understanding of current theoretical inquiries.

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words and a completed Participant Information Form (PIF) by e-mail to Linda Migl Keyser ( 15 September 2013.

Additional information for applicants and the PIF are available at

Deadline: September 15, 2013

Posted: September 13, 2013