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Webinar: Experiences of War, Injury, and (Chronic) Pain (15th-16th centuries)

February 1 @ 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM UTC+0

February 1, 2024 – Bianca FROHNE (Kiel University, Germany) – „What pain I suffered during that time, anyone can well imagine…“ Experiences of War, Injury, and (Chronic) Pain (15th-16th centuries).

In this paper I will discuss (chronic) pain experiences in the later Middle Ages from disability studies and crip perspectives, focusing on pain narratives in late medieval life writing and literary accounts. Descriptions of physical and/or emotional pain are hard to find in the context of war, injury, and violence, and those which can be accessed usually follow strict discursive norms. For example, knight Götz of Berlichingen, who lost his hand in battle, mentions the physical pain he suffered only briefly in his lengthy autobiography. Instead, he focuses on the emotional pain his perceived inability to fight and his imagined future as disabled knight caused him.

Based on this and other examples I am going to focus on pain narratives with emphasis on the temporalities of pain. Temporality is a valuable category of analysis in disability research. Among others, concepts such as crip time and futurity encourage us to look at experiences of disability, illness, and pain in premodern cultures from a new perspective.


February 1
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM UTC+0
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