Saturday 19 October 2019

Arts Lecture Rooms 4, 5, and 6 (Ground Floor, Arts Building), and the Philippa Maddern Seminar Room (1.33, First Floor, Arts Building), The University of Western Australia, Crawley Campus.

Keynote Speaker

Professor Yasmin Haskell (The University of Western Australia): ‘Erasmus and the mental health of scholars’.

This lecture explores Erasmus’s place in the history of scholarly ‘hygiene’, both with respect to his contemporaries and correspondents (humanist physicians, scholars, and theologians) and in a longer tradition of writing about the health of scholars, melancholy, ‘hypochondria’ and the passions. To what extent did Erasmus reflect on scholarly workaholism and attempt to moderate its impact on his own and others’ health? How much was too much homework for children and could too much learning produce physical, mental, even spiritual pathologies?

Conference Programme

The conference programme can be downloaded HERE.


Registration for this conference has now closed.

About the Conference

Modern stereotypes abound regarding how mental health was perceived during the medieval and early modern period ranging from mental illness being caused by sin to the idea that the attainment of mental wellbeing could only be achieved through the balancing of the bodily humours. But mental health was a more complex and expansive subject of discourse throughout the period that was widely explored in medical treatises, religious tracts and sermons, and prominent in art and literature, which speaks to a more subtle understanding of the human mental state.

This conference aims to look at both the changing and continuing perceptions of mental health throughout the medieval and early modern period.

We welcome papers from the fields of book culture and manuscript studies, history, material culture, medicine, art, and literature, but not limited to, the following broad headings:

  • Suicide
  • Marginal lives
  • Melancholy / Depression
  • Insanity / Mental disorder
  • Rapture / Ecstasy
  • Bodily humours
  • Addiction
  • Anguish
  • Therapies
  • Meditation / Mindfulness / Well-being
  • Imagination
  • Dreams / Visions / Memory
  • Criminality
  • Self-harm
  • Solitude
  • Natural / Kind / Unnatural

The conference organisers invite proposals for 20-minute papers. Please send a paper title, 250-word abstract, and a short (no more than 100-word) biography to: [email protected] by 31 May 2019.

The Call for Papers is now closed.

Enquiries: [email protected]

View the Call For Papers.

Travel Bursaries

The Perth Medieval and Renaissance Group (PMRG) will fund TWO travel bursaries up to $500 each.

These bursaries are available on a competitive basis for two ECRs (no more than 5 years from the award of their PhD) who do not have substantive academic employment and whose conference paper is accepted. The bursary will be awarded on the basis of merit and the paper’s relevance to the symposium topic.

Should you wish to apply for the travel bursary, please send a short CV (no more than 1 page), along with your paper title, abstract, and biography by 31 May 2019 to [email protected].

Applications for the Travel Bursaries are now closed.

Keynote Speaker Bio

Professor Yasmin Haskell, FAHA is Cassamarca Foundation Chair in Latin Humanism at The University of Western Australia. From 2010-17 she was a Chief Investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions: Europe 1100–1800 (Partner Investigator from 2017–18, when she was Chair of Latin and Director of the Institute of Greece, Rome and the Classical Tradition at the University of Bristol, UK). She has published on Renaissance and Neo-Latin literature, especially by Jesuits, and on various topics in the history of medicine and science. Her books include Loyola’s Bees: Ideology and Industry in Jesuit Latin Didactic Poetry (Oxford University Press, 2003); as editor, Diseases of the Imagination and Imaginary Disease in the Early Modern Period (Brepols, 2011); Prescribing Ovid: The Latin Works and Networks of the Enlightened Dr Heerkens (Bloomsbury, 2013); and most recently, edited with R. Garrod, Changing Hearts: Performing Jesuit Emotions Between Europe, Asia and the Americas (Brill, 2019). She is currently writing a book on ‘play’ in Jesuit humanist education.

Header image: Hieronymus Bosch, The Cure of Folly, or the Extraction of the Stone of Madness, c. 1501–1506, Museo del Prado