Session Title

Medicine and Medical Practice in the Arthurian World

Sponsoring Organization(s)

International Arthurian Society, North American Branch (IAS/NAB)

Organizer Name

Melissa Ridley Elmes

Organizer Affiliation

Lindenwood Univ.

Presider Name

Melissa Ridley Elmes

Paper Title 1

"Evil deeds shame men / More than good ones help them": Physical Injury, Healing, and Social "Purity" in Chrétien de Troyes Le chevalier de la charrette

Presenter 1 Name

Elizabeth F. Pafford

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Kent State Univ.

Paper Title 2

Spells, Miracles, Potions and Salves: Healing Practices in Arthurian Legend

Presenter 2 Name

Rachael K. Warmington

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Seton Hall Univ.

Paper Title 3

Synchronization with the Feminine and the Healing Poultices of Morgan le Fay in Hartmann von Aue's Iwein and Erec

Presenter 3 Name

Walker J. Horsfall

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Centre for Medieval Studies, Univ. of Toronto

Paper Title 4

Poisoned Politics in Malory's Morte Darthur

Presenter 4 Name

Noah G. Peterson

Presenter 4 Affiliation

Texas A&M Univ.

Start Date

8-5-2020 10:00 AM

Session Location

Bernhard 209

Description

The Arthurian legend is reknowned for scenes of tournaments, jousts, and great battles; instances of poisoning; and rescues of damsels and battling of various monsters. All such episodes feature the damaging of one or more human bodies. When that occurs, what are the medicines and medical practices employed, who wields them, and how effective are they? While recent studies have examined the wounds, bleeding, and deaths of Arthurian figures, this session seeks to open a conversation on the medicines and medical practices used to intercede and provide relief and healing. Questions and approaches might include: is there a gendered component to healing practices in the Arthurian legend? Is there an ethics system, or are there competing ethical systems, at play in the use of medicines and medical practices in Arthurian texts? How do medicines and medical practices in Arthurian texts compare to their real-world counterparts? Are there contradictory representations of medicines and medical practices present in Arthurian texts and, if so, how should we understand those contradictions? Is there a relationship between a damsel’s purity and/or a knight’s worshipfulness and how effective medicine or medical practices are in their hands as practitioners or on their bodies as patients? Do medicine and/or medical practices ever depend upon in whole or part an intervention by God or some other supernatural figure and, if so, how should we understand the intersection or science and religion in those moments? Is there an epistemology of medicines locatable in Arthurian texts? Is there some pattern discernible in when medicines and medical practices do and do not work? How are medicine and medical practices portrayed in Arthurian films and television shows? David F. Johnson

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May 8th, 10:00 AM

Medicine and Medical Practice in the Arthurian World

Bernhard 209

The Arthurian legend is reknowned for scenes of tournaments, jousts, and great battles; instances of poisoning; and rescues of damsels and battling of various monsters. All such episodes feature the damaging of one or more human bodies. When that occurs, what are the medicines and medical practices employed, who wields them, and how effective are they? While recent studies have examined the wounds, bleeding, and deaths of Arthurian figures, this session seeks to open a conversation on the medicines and medical practices used to intercede and provide relief and healing. Questions and approaches might include: is there a gendered component to healing practices in the Arthurian legend? Is there an ethics system, or are there competing ethical systems, at play in the use of medicines and medical practices in Arthurian texts? How do medicines and medical practices in Arthurian texts compare to their real-world counterparts? Are there contradictory representations of medicines and medical practices present in Arthurian texts and, if so, how should we understand those contradictions? Is there a relationship between a damsel’s purity and/or a knight’s worshipfulness and how effective medicine or medical practices are in their hands as practitioners or on their bodies as patients? Do medicine and/or medical practices ever depend upon in whole or part an intervention by God or some other supernatural figure and, if so, how should we understand the intersection or science and religion in those moments? Is there an epistemology of medicines locatable in Arthurian texts? Is there some pattern discernible in when medicines and medical practices do and do not work? How are medicine and medical practices portrayed in Arthurian films and television shows? David F. Johnson