Call for Papers: 48th International Congress on Medieval Studies at Kalamazoo, Michigan, 9-12 May 2013
Not Only Skin Deep: Cosmetics, Prosthetics, and AestheticsCo-Sponsors: Medica: The Society for the Study of Healing in the Middle Ages
This panel focuses on the medical and cultural history of making the body aesthetically negotiable and will discuss the various notions of "beauty" in the medieval worldview. Research has shown that Paulus of Aegina notes, in the seventh century, that surgery will restore maleness and cure, what we now know as, gynecomastia. And medieval scholars have long noted that transvestism fabricated accouterments that achieved higher social status. Therefore, the following questions could be explored: What surgical procedures were performed and what was considered beautiful and why? Who are the patients? If surgery was not an option, what were the cultural "props" or concoctions employed to achieve an aesthetic goal? Finally, how did medieval people negotiate beauty and change their lives by transforming their bodies?
Possible topics include:
- Surgical procedures to address the physical repercussions of disease or injury
- Cosmetics or prosthetics for the physical repercussions of a congenital condition or disease (e.g. leprosy, small pox, skin diseases, etc.) or an injury (e.g. amputation, etc.)
- Cosmetics and their ingredients
- Making and using prosthetics
- Enhancing and reinventing the body
- Representations of cosmetics and prosthetics in literature
- Images of prosthetics and cosmetics in both art and medical texts
Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words and a completed Participant Information Form (PIF) by e-mail to Sharmain van Blommestein (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 15 September 2012.
Additional information for applicants and the PIF are available athttp://www.wmich.edu/medieval/congress/submissions/index.html.