Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting

March 17-19, 2019, Toronto, Canada

Call for papers

Health in Medicine and Visual Arts, 1300-1550
Panel for the Renaissance Society of America Annual Conference
Toronto, 17-19 March 2019

We invite papers for a three-speaker panel to be proposed for the Renaissance Society of America’s approval:

Artists and architects contributed to cultures of health in medieval and early modern societies, yet their ties to medical practice are often overlooked in modern scholarship. This session invites historians across disciplines to compare their approaches to visual cultures of medicine between 1300 and 1550. Which perspectives and methods might be productively shared among historians of medicine, science, art, architecture, and other specialties focused on care for the body, mind, and soul? A key objective is to advance research on interactions between learned medicine (i.e., taught in universities) and visual arts.

Papers are invited to address the body of knowledge by which artifacts and monuments were believed to be therapeutic and/or protective. How and why were such effects ascribed to images, objects, and spaces?

Topics might include
– images in medical astrology: instructions for their making and use
– restorative spaces in domestic and institutional buildings
– therapeutic works on paper: books, almanacs, calendars, prints
– apothecaries and foreign ingredients in the service of medicine and pigment-making
– objects and environments used in regimens for preserving health and hygiene

Intercultural, interregional, and transoceanic topics are welcome.

The respondent is Dr. Mitchell Merback, Associate Professor, Johns Hopkins University.

Paper proposals are due by August 5, 2018 to Jordan Famularo, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University ( Proposals should include two documents: an abstract with paper title (250 words maximum) and CV. Please indicate the presenter’s title and affiliation.

Submissions are considered commitments to attend the conference and to be responsible for registration and membership fees, if this session is accepted into the conference. Submission guidelines are available at

Deadline: August 5, 2018

Posted: July 21, 2018