Call for proposals for paired panels planned for upcoming conference of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies

Please consider submitting a proposal for one of the following panels, designed to consider the eighteenth century from the perspective of the medical humanities. The ASECS conference will take place in St. Louis, MO, March 19-21 2020.  Abstracts or proposals (250-300 words in length) should be sent directly to the session organizer no later than 15 September 2019.   For more information on ASECS, visit

1) Teaching Eighteenth-Century Health Humanities (Roundtable)

Programs in the health humanities are increasingly popular at the undergraduate level. What can eighteenth-century studies contribute to such programs? What themes and texts drawn from the period work best in the health humanities classroom? This roundtable aims to showcase a sampling of courses that explore the interaction of the arts and humanities with eighteenth-century understandings of health, illness or infirmity, and healthcare. We invite ~10-minute presentations on existing or planned health humanities courses, from a range of disciplinary perspectives. Topics addressed could include the history of the body; the role of language and images in the creation and circulation of biomedical knowledge during the eighteenth century; the lived experience of illness (physical and mental) as recounted in works from this period; the figures of the health-care provider and of the patient; the relationship between religion and medicine; exchange and friction between biomedicine and other healing traditions; the role of medicine in politics, war, empire and nation building during the eighteenth century; and the intricate intersections of race, gender, sexuality, disability and medicine. Participants will be asked to pre-circulate a syllabus, a course description, or a sample lesson.

Questions and paper proposals can be sent to Anne Vila, University of Wisconsin-Madison;

2) Research in Eighteenth-Century Medical Humanities

The emergent field of medical humanities moves beyond established history of medicine methodologies to analyze questions of health, sickness, medical care, and the body by means of the varied research and interpretive methods of art history, literature, cultural studies, religious studies, philosophy, and the visual and performing arts. Significant, widespread transformation and reform during the eighteenth century of medical practices, discourses, education, public policy, and imaging make it especially fitting for an interface with medical humanities. This session welcomes submissions that bring humanistic insights to bear on any aspect of medicine in the eighteenth century. Multidisciplinary and non-western topics are especially welcome.

Questions and paper proposals can be addressed to  Rebecca Messbarger, Washington University in Saint Louis;