Literature’s Cures: Health and Healing in Early Modern Texts.
Session sponsored by the LLC 16th-Century English Forum.
Our vocabulary for discussing literature has long included its health-oriented properties: we devour it and it feeds us; it sustains us; it can even save us. At the same time, literature has also threatened to poison, intoxicate, and even infect its readers. This panel invites papers interested in investigating how the sixteenth century engaged imaginative literature’s medicinal properties. What explained the powers of imaginative texts to heal or harm, and how did those transformative effects vary across genres, across the variable bodies of readers, across different environments? Put another way, this is a panel on health/medical humanities in the sixteenth century, broadly conceived. We welcome abstracts concerned with the sixteenth century’s take on real and imagined health as informed by its poesie. Please submit abstracts of 250 words or less and a brief biography to Jessica Rosenberg (jrosenberg at miami dot edu) by Friday, March 18, 2022.