Upcoming Events


November 4

The Silk Roads as a Model for Exploring Eurasian Transmissions of Medical Knowledge

Ronit Yoeli-Tlalim (Goldsmiths, University of London)

While the “Silk Road” as a concept was initially focused on its main termini points—China and Europe— thanks to the great archaeological discoveries along the Silk Roads of the twentieth century, we now know that its greater historical significance lies in fact in the great expanse in between. The manuscripts which were discovered in the early twentieth century in the so-called “Library Cave” of Dunhuang have only recently begun to be explored in European scholarship in the context of history of science and history of medicine. Observed in their overall context, the Dunhuang manuscripts are a bit like a time capsule, providing traces of what medicine was like ‘on the ground’, away from the main cultural centers at this particular geographical location. Being in manuscript form they preserve the benefits of unedited texts, revealing more diverse forms of healing, telling different stories than medical canons preserved in print. This paper begins with the Tibetan medical manuscripts from Dunhuang, dated to the from the 9th through 11th centuries CE, and proceeds to discuss them in the more general context of the multi-cultural interactions and exchanges of knowledge along the Silk Roads.

12 PM Pacific, 2 PM Eastern, 7 PM UK, Zoom. Register to receive the Zoom link here. Closed captions will be provided.



June 3

Manuscript Workshop: “Organa and the Organism”

Sylvia Berryman (University of British Columbia), Claire Bubb (New York University), Maria Gerolemou (University of Exeter), Daryn Lehoux (Queen’s University), Colin Webster (UC Davis)

May 28

Engines of Division: Land, Labor, and Perpetual Motion in the Mid-Seventeenth Century English Atlantic

Ted McCormick (Concordia University)

May 14

The Poison Trials: Wonder Drugs, Experiment, and the Battle for Authority in Renaissance Science

Alisha Rankin (Tufts University)

Thursday,        April 22

Re-orienting Ancient Medicine Courses

Aileen Das (University of Michigan) and Jay Crisostomo (University of Michigan)

Wednesday, January 13

Singing Nature’s Secrets: Michael Maier’s Atalanta fugiens (1618) and Furnace and Fugue (2020)

Tara Nummedal (History, Brown University)


Thursday,          November 19

Writing the Plague: How Roman Disease Infected Literature”

A conversation with Hunter Gardner (Classics, University of South Carolina) and Caroline Wazer (Lapham’s Quarterly)

Thursday, February 6

The Blue King and the Power of Water in Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Book of the Duchess

Brantley Bryant, English, Sonoma State University