Department of History and Philosophy of Science

Generation and Reproduction in Medieval Europe

Medieval manuscript

Places at the symposium will be limited to 30 plus speakers.

Cost per person will be £20, including lunch, coffee and tea.

Please apply as soon as possible to reserve a place to Peter Jones (

Friday 7 December

17.30Open lecture, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, Free School Lane, Cambridge: Marianne Elsakkers (Utrecht), 'What the small print in the early medieval penitentials tells us about abortion'. Registration not required.

Saturday 8 December

9.30–10.00Registration, Saltmarsh Rooms, King's College, Cambridge
10.00–11.20Session 1:
Fabiola van Dam (Utrecht), 'Generation, reproduction and a body-that-cooks: visualizing medieval concepts of natural change in the Regimen Sanitatis (1333–1335) of Magninus Mediolanensis'
Gabriella Zuccolin (Open University), 'Physiognomic and medical discourse in the light of practice: noble women's generative issues in 15th century Northern Italian courts'
11.40–13.00Session 2:
Na'ama Cohen-Hanegbi (Tel Aviv and Wolfson College, Oxford), 'Postpartum emotional distress in medical, literary and religious texts, 13th to 15th centuries'
Wendy Turner (Augusta, GA), 'Strains on the mental health of mothers in medieval England'
14.00–15.20Session 3:
Catherine Rider (Exeter), 'Medical responses to infertility in medieval England'
Sue Edgington (Queen Mary, London), 'Arrangements for lying-in and wet-nursing in the Hospital of St John, Jerusalem, c.1180'
15.40–17.00Session 4:
Rebecca Johnson (Princeton), 'Death in birth: reality and representation in the later medieval Mediterranean'
Irina Metzler (Swansea, Bremen), 'Congenital disability – medieval causalities of birth defects'