Oregon State University

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Event Details

Reconsidering the Health Care Provider: Lessons from Medieval Miracle Accounts

Friday, March 1, 2013 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM


Join us for another fantastic lunch bunch in Milam Hall, Room 301 at noon!

Using medieval canonization inquests, Archambeau will try to answer the seemingly simple question: What did people do when they were sick?"   She will show that the answer was often far more complex than traditional research in the history of medicine shows. By sifting through hundreds of narratives of people coping with their own and loved-ones' health care, we find that people used a plurality of available methods and even created new ones when needed. We also see that medieval concepts of health care extended beyond the boundaries of the physical body to include the passions or what contemporaries called “accidents of the soul.” Healers and sufferers saw that sadness, fear, and anxiety could damage physical health and were health problems in their own right.
These testimonies also give us a picture of an era that saw remarkable physical and spiritual hardship as well as profound uncertainty– the relocation of the papacy, repeated mercenary invasions, at least three waves of plague, and the struggle of the Great Schism. All of these events contributed to people’s emotional distress. Sufferers' and healers' strategies of coping and healing give insight into the ways people turn to their faith during times of profound crises.

Join us for another great lunch bunch talk with Nicole Archambeau, a lecturer in the History Department and Department of Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara.

Nicole has authored several papers on the History of Medicine including:

 “Tempted to Kill: A Miraculous Cure of a Mother’s Homicidal Temptation after the Death of Her Daughter,” in Emotions and Health, 1200-1700, edited by Elena Carrera, Leiden/Boston: Brill, forthcoming March 2013.

 “Remembering Delphine’s Books: Reading as a Means to Shape a Holy Woman’s Sanctity” in Writing Medieval Women’s Lives, edited by Amy Livingstone and Charlotte Newman Goldy, New York: Palgrave, August 2012.

 “Healing Options during the Plague: Survivor Stories from a Fourteenth-Century Canonization Inquest.” The Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Winter 2011: 531-559.

 “His Whole Heart Changed’: Political Uses of a Mercenary’s Emotional Transformation” in Les politiques des émotions du Moyen Âge, edited by Piroska Nagy and Damien Boquet, Sismel: Micrologus, 2010. 


Robert Peckyno
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