Acts of Care: Recovering Women in Late Medieval Health
Acts of Care examines feminized healthcare practices in thirteenth-century northern Europe, particularly Flanders, Brabant, and northern France. Attending to religious women who served the daily health needs of their communities by acting as nurses to the sick, assistants to the dying, midwives, and managers of hospices, who provided food, shelter, medicine, healing prayers, and other forms of bodily care to the suffering, it portrays premodern epistemologies of health from outside of the conceptual hierarchy that has privileged academic medical texts and occupational markers. Based on archival, archaeological, hagiographic, and manuscript sources, Acts of Care serves not only to re-embed women into the history of medieval medicine, but also to reveal the gendered, political, and religious habits of thought that have obscured their presence and influence. The book is planned for release on Cornell University Press in January of 2021.