Esther Cohen, Pain in Late Medieval Culture

Cohen argues that medieval pain is an individual phenomenon but also something that’s communal and shared. People either accepted pain as a holy experience, deliberately sought out pain, or ran from pain. Medical discourses, meanwhile, saw pain as an unfortunate but unavoidable fact of life. Although there were attempts at eradicating pain, generally it was… Continue reading Esther Cohen, Pain in Late Medieval Culture

Damien Boquet & Piroska Nagy, Medieval Sensibilities

This extensive study is attempting to do two things: provide a history of cultural medieval affect in particular, and rehabilitate the status of affect studies in general. Arguing that emotion has been neglected, especially in the premodern period, it focuses on the study of “sensibility”, or the sensible, which includes not only feelings but moods… Continue reading Damien Boquet & Piroska Nagy, Medieval Sensibilities

Amy Hollywood, Acute Melancholia

Amy Hollywood’s collection of essays is about the experiences of medieval mystics and other religious women, and modern attempts to reckon with and define their experiences. As she mentions in the first section of the introduction, she is interested in determining “what it might mean to say that the Virgin is real– actual, present, palpable–… Continue reading Amy Hollywood, Acute Melancholia

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