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Work in Progress Seminar – ‘National Complexions and Health Culture in Early Modern France’
December 8, 2021 @ 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM CSTFree
Valerio Zannetti (Warburg Institute / I Tatti Joint Fellow): ‘National Complexions and Health Culture in Early Modern France’
Beliefs that human bodies were marked by national difference informed exchanges at all levels of early modern society, emerging as a key feature of cultural discourse and artistic production. By studying health regimens published in France between 1500 and 1700, my paper explores the medical theories that underpinned widespread understandings of embodied national characters while also considering how these beliefs were formed and reinforced through health practices. First it considers the way preventive manuals adapted classical notions of climactic ethnology to suit emerging ideas of national identity. It then explores how these publications conceptualised national complexions as the product of constant renegotiation with the environment through self-care habits. Considering regimens’ prescriptions together with their textual and narrative strategies, this paper sheds new light on the role of nationhood in shaping early modern experiences of embodiment and psychophysical wellbeing.
The Work in Progress seminar explores the variety of subjects studied and researched at the Warburg Institute. Papers are given by invited international scholars, research fellows studying at the Institute, and third-year PhD students.
FREE VIA ZOOM. PLEASE BOOK IN ADVANCE.