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Learning to Cut, Bandage and Cure

Histories of Surgical Training, Skills & Knowledge in Early Modern Europe

An international conference organised by Maria Pia Donato, Elaine Leong and Juliette Rigaud, sponsored by Institut d’Histoire Moderne et Contemporaine (Paris) and University College London with the support of Translitterae PSL, ED540 Lettres, Arts et Sciences ENS, the Society for the Social History of Medicine, and Wellcome Trust (grant #209835/Z/17/Z).

In the past decades, historians of medicine and science have scrutinised early modern scholarly practices and book cultures, rediscovered genres of medical writing and reframed key issues concerning the relation between theory and practice. New thriving scholarship has delved into the production and transfer of medical knowledge, and has offered new histories on practices of bedside teaching and other forms of training. These research trends, however, have only tangentially touched upon surgery. Historians of surgery have instead largely focused upon mapping the contours of a very elusive occupational group.

While excellent studies have illuminated medieval and renaissance learned surgery, the quotidian knowledge cultures of vernacular practitioners warrant further exploration. This is particularly the case for the 16th to 18th centuries, where little scholarly attention has been devoted to surgical education and training. Although scholars agree that surgery was a highly mobile activity, implying different skills and levels of literacy and learning, not much is known about how these were actually acquired by practitioners across their life-course, diverse as they were from the modest bloodletter to the university-trained surgeon. Moreover, the relationship of theory and practice in this branch of medicine that inherently featured a bigger role for manual intervention and was often characterised as the operative part of medicine, remains relatively unproblematized and to some extent still dependant on modern understandings of surgery.

This conference aims to extend our understanding of surgical training and education across Europe c. 1500-1800 by examining books, images, instruments and other learning aids and charting their role in the transfer of know-how and skills.

Friday, September 23rd, 2022

9:45 | Welcome

10:00-11:15 | Session 1

Chair : Maria Pia Donato (CNRS/IHMC)

Surgery and the Artisanal Language of Techne : Leonardo Fioravanti’s Vernacular Readers

Cynthia Klestinec (Miami University)

Learning to Operate in 1645 from a Medieval Manuscript

Peter Jones (University of Cambridge)

11:15-11:30 | Pause

11:30-13:30| Session 2

Chair : Sophie Vasset (Université Paul-Valérie/IRCL)

Learning from Disaster : Surgical Mishaps and Pedagogy

Heidi Hausse (Auburn University)

Jan de Doot’s Self-surgery : Lithotomy, Surgical Passion, and First-hand Experience

Gideon Manning (Cedars-Sinai Medical Center)

Learning Surgery Through Cases in Early Modern Italian Hospitals

Maria Pia Donato (CNRS/IHMC)

13:30-14:30 | Lunch break (on site)

14:30-16:30| Session 3

Chair : Bruno Belhoste (Université Paris 1/IHMC)

Learning To Bleed Through Bloodletting Figures

Jack Hartnell (University of East Anglia)

Visualizing Knowledge and Surgical Training in Early Modern London

Elaine Leong (University College London)

Books about Surgery and Books for Surgeons in Early Modern Spain

Sophie-Bérangère Singlard (Aix Marseille Université, CAER)

16:30-16:45 | Pause

16:45-18:45| Session 4

Chair : Rafael Mandressi CNRS/Centre Alexandre Koyré)

Picturing Surgical Bodies in Baroque Rome : Guglielmo Riva’s Printed Tables as Teaching Tools

Silvia De Renzi (Open University)

The License to Cut : Catholic Missionaries Learning and Practicing Surgery in Early Modern Rome and Beyond

Brendan Röder (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)

Surgery in the Early Modern Hispanic World : The Case of Pedro Gago de Vadillo

Mariana Sánchez (Université Paris Cité)

20:00 | Conference dinner for speakers

Saturday, September 24th, 2022

9:15-11:15| Session 5

Chair : Elaine Leong (University College London)

Body, Honour, Health and Hand-Work : Crafting Surgery in Print and in the City

Tillmann Taape (Warburg Institute London)

Learning and Teaching Specialized Surgical Practice in the Holy Roman Empire : Families, Workshops, Hospitals and Illustrated Manuscripts, 16th and 17th Centuries

Annemarie Kinzelbach (Universität Ulm)

A Barber-surgeon and His Patients in Early 17th-century Germany

Michael Stolberg (Universität Würzburg)

11:15-11:30 | Pause

11:30-12:45| Session 6

Chair : Marilyn Nicoud (Avignon Université/CIHAM)

How to Become a Forensic Expert. Learning by Doing, Surgeons and Legal Medicine in Early Modern France

Cathy McClive (Florida State University)

Surgical Textbooks Meet Legal Records : Instructing and Witnessing the Practice of Surgery in Early Modern Spain

Carolin Schmitz (King’s College London)

12:45-13:45 | Lunch break (on site)

13:45-15:00| Session 7

Chair : Christelle Rabier (EHESS/Cermes3)

« La liberté de pouvoir m’instruire » : François Humbert and Surgeons’ Apprenticeship Tales in 18th-Century France

Juliette Rigaud ENS/ED540)

Eighteenth-Century French Newspapers as Sites of Surgical Knowledge Production

Meghan K. Roberts (Bowdoin College)

15:15 | Conference ends

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Publié le 14 juin 2022, mis a jour le mardi 15 novembre 2022

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