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Asclepius, the Paintbrush, and the Pen: Representations of Disease in Medieval and Early Modern European Art and Literature

Friday, May 4 - Saturday, May 5
Royce Hall 314, 10745 Dickson Plaza
Los Angeles , CA 90095 United States
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CMRS Medical Humanities Conference

Humanity has always approached disease with a mixture of curiosity and dread. Medieval and early modern people were no exception, displaying a deep fascination with virulent ailments and all sorts of physical deformities. But despite this a attraction, few artists of these eras engaged in the depiction of disease. When they did, their expression was particular to the medium used and differed among artists even when using the same medium. Since such an effort was outside their norm, what factors drove them to pick up pen or brush to approach maladies as a subject of esthetic expression? How did the artists’ experiences influence their choices in portraying disease? Were these depictions the result of something that interfered with their intent to faithfully reproduce the best of nature, or do they reflect a rebellion against what we generally assume to be the period`s artistic and literary quest: the portrayal of spiritual beauty and, later, the rediscovered beauty of the human body?

This conference, organized by Professor Massimo Ciavolella (Italian, UCLA) and Professor Rinaldo Canalis, MD (David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA), engages these questions and the contemporary perspective they elicit.

Advance registration is requested. Please click here to complete the short registration form.

No fee. Limited seating. Self-pay parking in lots 2, 3, and 4. Parking information at https://main.transportation.ucla.edu/campus-parking/visitors

Funding for this symposium is provided by the Endowment for the UCLA Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies.

SATURDAY, MAY 4, 2018 | UCLA ROYCE HALL 314
8:30 AM Registration, coffee
9:00 Welcoming Remarks
Session I  |  Allison Collins (UCLA), chair
9:15 Francis Wells (Royal Papworth Hospital, Cambridge)
“The Role of the Decorative Arts in Disease”
10:00 Break
10:15 Joachim Küpper (Freie Universität Berlin)
“Malady in Literary Texts from the Medieval and the Early Modern Periods – Some Hypotheses On a Paradoxical Constellation”
11:00 Break
11:15 Gaia Gubbini (Freie Universität Berlin)
“Leprosy, Melancholy, Folly, and their Representations in Medieval French Literature”
12:00 PM Break
12:15 Alain Touwaide (UCLA, The Huntington, and Institute for the Preservation of Medical Traditions )
“The Art of Medicine in Byzantium: Disease and Disability in Byzantine Manuscripts”
1:00 Lunch Break
Session II  |  Rinaldo Canalis (UCLA), chair
2:15 Domenico Bertoloni Meli (Indiana University Bloomington)
“Textures of Lesions – Textures of Prints”
3:00 Break
3:15 Manuela Gallerani (Università di Bologna)
“Illness in art and art in illness: reflections based on paradigmatic works by Italian Renaissance artists”
4:00 Break
4:15 Sara Frances Burdorff (UCLA)
“‘Yet have I in me something dangerous’: Demonopathy, the Pox, and the Melancholy Dane in Shakespeare’s Hamlet
SATURDAY, MAY 5, 2018 | UCLA ROYCE HALL 314
9:00 Coffee
Session III  |  Monique Kornell (CMRS Associate), chair
9:30 Valeria Finucci (Duke University)
“The King and the Art of Brain Surgery”
10:15 Break
10:30 Alfonso Paolella (University of Naples)
“The ‘mal franzoso’ between art, history and literature. Paracelso and Della Porta”
11:15 Break
11:30 Efraín Kristal (UCLA)
“Nicolas Poussin’s ‘The Plague at Ashdod’ and the French Disease”
12:15 Lunch Break
Session IV  |  Guendalina Ajello Mahler (CMRS Associate )
1:30 Jenni Kuuliala (University of Tampere)
“Miracle and the Monstrous: Disability and Deviant Bodies in the Late Middle Ages”
2:15 Break
2:30 Lori Jones (University of Ottawa)
“‘Fevers, Botches, and Carbuncles’: Describing the Plague in Late Medieval and Early Modern Medical Treatises”
3:15 Break
3:30 Roberto Fedi (Università per Stranieri di Perugia)
“The Ailing Artist”
4:15 Concluding Remarks

Click here for a PDF of the printed program brochure.

Details

Start:
Friday, May 4
End:
Saturday, May 5

Venue

Royce Hall 314
10745 Dickson Plaza
Los Angeles , CA 90095 United States

Organizer

CMRS
Phone:
310-825-1880
Email:
cmrs@humnet.ucla.edu
Website:
cmrs.ucla.edu