CFP: In Sickness and in Health: Pestilence, Disease, and Healing in Medieval and Early Modern Art (12 January 2021), deadline 1 September 2020

14th Annual Imago Conference, University of Haifa

In light of the global turmoil caused by the COVID-19 epidemic, the 14th AnnuaI Imago conference will examine the cultural and artistic impact of epidemics, diseases and healing in the art of the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period. We hope this examination will not only shed new light on the artistic, social, and political mechanisms of both of these periods, but will also produce fresh insights into cultural and artistic responses to the current global health crisis.

Disease is an inevitable part of the human experience. Whether in times of acute crisis, the most familiar of which is the Black Death of the mid-14th century, or as a constant threat at all other times, diseases evoked varied responses, from theological formulations to the transmission of medicinal knowledge; and, not least, to artistic depictions.

We invite papers from broad and diverse points of view: case studies of iconographies dealing with disease or healings, studies of the artistic responses to specific epidemics, and comparative studies between East and West, the Christian and the Islamic worlds, etc. Interdisciplinary studies and those engaging with the production, reception, and interpretation of art concerned with disease and healing are of particular interest.

Suggest topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Artistic expressions of medicinal practices
  • Visual components in medical manuscripts
  • Artistic responses to the Black Death and other epidemics
  • Physical and spiritual health – Medieval and Early Modern expressions
  • Diseases and otherness – xenophobic, racist, and anti-Semitic polemical visual expressions
  • Disease and healing between East and West – artistic expressions
  • Disease – theological and moral conceptions
  • Gendered aspects of disease and healing

Abstracts of no more than 250 words should be sent to Dr. Gil Fishhof ( no later than September 1st 2020.

Published by Roisin Astell

Roisin Astell received a First Class Honours in History of Art at the University of York (2014), under the supervision of Dr Emanuele Lugli. After spending a year learning French in Paris, Roisin then completed an MSt. in Medieval Studies at the University of Oxford (2016), where she was supervised by Professor Gervase Rosser and Professor Martin Kauffmann. In 2017, Roisin was awarded a CHASE AHRC studentship as a doctoral candidate at the University of Kent’s Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, under the supervision of Dr Emily Guerry.

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