The Apothecary: Transformed Realities and Nomadic Imaginaries

deadline for submissions: 
July 5, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association / PAMLA 2023 Conference
contact email: 

PAMLA 2023 120th Annual Conference

Portland, Oregon, USA

Thursday, October 26 – Sunday, October 29, 2023



Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Natsu Hyuuga’s The Apothecary Diaries, Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, Camus’ La peste, in all and more the apothecary plays a secondary yet marking part. This part changed and moved through time, as the apothecary wore many faces and took on many symbolisms. Among others, it can be a unifying figure, a healer, an obscure individual, a “quack,” a mystical or magical being, a peddler of tinctures and oils, a listener and a bringer of news, good and bad.

This special session explores all sorts of representations of the apothecary in works of literature, films and visual arts, with a focus on how these representations can speak to one another, clash and intermix. A second emphasis is put on the cultural, economic, and political roles these representations may play in society.

Paper proposals are welcome on topics including but not limited to: thresholds between traditional and contemporary medicine; the modern apothecary; conscientious apothecaries and charlatans; the apothecary and the transmission of knowledge; the apothecary as a thematic representation of fate; the doctor, the apothecary and the chemist; herbal medicine, potions and grimoires; the apothecary and the drug trade; the travelling apothecary as a conduit to the outside world and bringer of news in isolated rural areas; the relationship between the physical and the spiritual in ancient medicine; historical evolution of the apothecary’s civic role of care-giver.

Send abstracts (250-500 words) to Alix Mazuet, or submit directly on PAMLA website: