Saturday, 21 November 2015

Medical Cultures of the Early Modern Spanish Empire

  • Edited by John Slater, University of California Davis, USA, Maríaluz López-Terrada and José Pardo-Tomás, both at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Spain
  • Series: New Hispanisms: Cultural and Literary Studies
  • Early modern Spain was a global empire in which a startling variety of medical cultures came into contact, and occasionally conflict, with one another. Spanish soldiers, ambassadors, missionaries, sailors, and emigrants of all sorts carried with them to the farthest reaches of the monarchy their own ideas about sickness and health. These ideas were, in turn, influenced by local cultures. This volume tells the story of encounters among medical cultures in the early modern Spanish empire.

    The twelve chapters draw upon a wide variety of sources, ranging from drama, poetry, and sermons to broadsheets, travel accounts, chronicles, and Inquisitorial documents; and it surveys a tremendous regional scope, from Mexico, to the Canary Islands, the Iberian Peninsula, Italy, and Germany. Together, these essays propose a new interpretation of the circulation, reception, appropriation, and elaboration of ideas and practices related to sickness and health, sex, monstrosity, and death, in a historical moment marked by continuous cross-pollination among institutions and populations with a decided stake in the functioning and control of the human body.

    Ultimately, the volume discloses how medical cultures provided demographic, analytical, and even geographic tools that constituted a particular kind of map of knowledge and practice, upon which were plotted: the local utilities of pharmacological discoveries; cures for social unrest or decline; spaces for political and institutional struggle; and evolving understandings of monstrousness and normativity. Medical Cultures of the Early Modern Spanish Empire puts the history of early modern Spanish medicine on a new footing in the English-speaking world.
  • Contents: Introduction, John Slater, José Pardo-Tomás and Maríaluz López-Terrada. Part 1 Spain and the New World of Medical Cultures: The culture of Peyote: between divination and disease in early modern New Spain, Angélica Morales Sarabia; ‘Antiguamente vivían más sanos que ahora’: explanations of native mortality in the Relaciones Geográficas de Indias, José Pardo-Tomás; The blood of the dragon: alchemy and natural history in Nicolás Monardes’s Historia medicinal, Ralph Bauer. Part 2 Itineraries of Spanish Medicine: ‘From where they are now to whence they came from’: news about health and disease in New Spain (1550-1615), Mauricio Sánchez-Menchero; Literary anthropologies and Pedro González, the ‘Wild Man’ of Tenerife, M.A. Katritzky; The medical cultures of ‘the Spaniards of Italy’: scientific communication, learned practices, and medicine in the correspondence of Juan Páez de Castro (1545-1552), Elisa Andretta. Part 3 Textual Cultures in Conflict, Competition, and Circulation: ‘Offspring of the mind’: childbirth and its perils in early modern Spanish literature, Enrique García Santo-Tomás; ‘Sallow-faced girl, either it’s love or you’ve been eating clay’: the representation of illness in the Golden Age theater, Maríaluz López-Terrada; The dramatic culture of astrological medicine in early modern Spain, Tayra M.C. Lanuza-Navarro; The theological drama of chymical medicine in early modern Spain, John Slater. Epilogue: the difference that made Spain, the difference that Spain made, William Eamon; Bibliography; Index.
  • About the Editor: John Slater is Associate Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of California - Davis, USA.

    Maríaluz López-Terrada is Senior Researcher (Investigadora científica) at the Instituto de Historia de la Medicina y de la Ciencia López Piñero, of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC, Valencia), Spain.

    José Pardo-Tomás is Senior Researcher at the Department of History of Science in the Institucio ‘Milà i Fontanals’ (CSIC, Barcelona), Spain.