Appel à contribution – Passages from Antiquity to the Middle Ages : Infirmitas

Call for Papers – Passages from Antiquity to the Middle Ages : Infirmitas

Social and Cultural Approaches to Cure, Caring and Health

August 23 – 26, 2012 University of Tampere, Finland

The fifth international conference on Passages from Antiquity to the Middle Ages will focus on social and cultural approaches to health and illness, cure and caring, and notions of ability and disability. These topics are of major importance for communities and societies both in Antiquity and during the Middle Ages, yet research is still fragmentary and more synthetic and interdisciplinary approaches are rare.

We welcome papers which focus on different actors – institutions, communities, families or individuals – and have a sensitive approach to social differences: gender, age and status. Thus, our focus lies on society and the history of everyday life, on the differences and similarities between elite and popular culture, and on the expectations linked to gender and life-cycle stage, visible in the practices and policies under scrutiny. How were physical and mental disability/ability defined within daily life; what were the social consequences of illness; how was social interaction reflected in caring for the sick; how were cure and caring organised in families, communities and in society? We aim not to concentrate on medical or technical aspects of health and illness, but rather to integrate them in a larger social and cultural context.

The conference aims at broad coverage not only chronologically but also geographically and disciplinary (all branches of Classical and Medieval Studies). Most preferable are contributions having themselves a comparative and/or interdisciplinary perspective. The speakers of the conference will include Nancy Caciola (University of San Diego), Véronique Dasen (University of Fribourg), William V. Harris (Columbia University), and Christian Krötzl (University of Tampere).

If interested, please submit an abstract of 300 words (setting out thesis and conclusions) for a twenty-minute paper together with your contact details (with academic affiliation, address and e-mail) by e-mail attachment to the conference secretary, The deadline for abstracts is September 15th 2011, and the notification of paper acceptance will be made in November 2011. Conference papers may be presented in major scientific languages, however supplied with English summary or translation if the language of presentation is not English. The registration fee is 100 € (post-graduate students: 50 €).

For further information, please visit or contact the organizers by e-mailing to The registration opens in November 2011.

Organizing Committee:
Prof. Christian Krötzl, Prof. Katariina Mustakallio, Dr. Sari Katajala-Peltomaa, and Dr. Ville Vuolanto.