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Cutting Words: The Polemical Dimensions of Galen's Anatomical Experiments

Dr. Luis Alejandro Salas (Univ. of Washington in St. Louis)

Friday, April 22 @ 4pm Pacific / 6pm Central / 7pm Eastern

Dr. Salas will join the Society for Ancient Medicine and the UC Davis Early Science Workshop to discuss his new book, Cutting Words, which interrogates Galen’s anatomical treatises and examines the interplay between their literary production and the live dissections that they describe. He places these polemical experiments within the high intellectual culture of second-century Rome and outlines how the textual and cultural context of Galen’s anatomy shapes his investigations of animal bodies.

Register here for the talk to receive the Zoom link:

Re-orienting Ancient Medicine Courses

Aileen Das (University of Michigan) and Jay Crisostomo (University of Michigan)

April 22 @ 4-5pm EST via Zoom (Sign up to receive the Zoom link here)

This pedagogy workshop is aimed at (past, current, and would-be) instructors of ancient medicine, science, and technology courses who would be keen to integrate material from the pre-modern Middle East. Popular and more academic narratives often equate ancient medicine with Greco-Roman medicine and frame its study as an originist history of a monolithic western medical tradition. When these narratives introduce content from the pre-modern Middle East, such as from Assyria or the medieval Islamicate world, they define the contribution of Middle Eastern knowledge-makers in terms of their anticipation or preservation of a western science. This workshop will discuss ways of foregrounding the theories and actors of pre-modern Middle Eastern science, technology, and medicine without rendering them subservient to a hegemonic "western tradition". Moreover, we will review a range of primary and secondary source materials that we utilize in our own teaching of these subjects. Questions or concerns can be addressed to Co-sponsored by the Society for Ancient Medicine and the UC Davis Early Science Workshop.

Click here for a transcript of the video.

A list of resources mentioned during the conversations can be found here.

Disability in the Ancient World

Hannah Silverblank (Haverford), Debby Sneed (CSULB) and Bet Hucks (U. Heidelberg)

March 22 @ 12:30–2pm EST via Zoom

This workshop is aimed at instructors (faculty and graduate student alike) who are, have, or are planning on teaching a course on ancient medicine or related areas. The goals of the workshop are twofold and intertwined. The first goal is to offer frameworks for thinking about, identifying, and incorporating disability in the ancient world into medicine courses. Assuming that “being (dis)abled” is a set of value-judgements contingent on time, culture, place, environment, and ideology, how might we define “disability” in the ancient world? What research methodologies and models of embodiment provide meaningful ways of understanding lived experiences of disabilities and disablement? What sorts of medical, material, and social evidence for disability accommodations emerges from various parts of the ancient Mediterranean? What, if any, are the lessons these ancient responses can impart to contemporary perspectives and practices as classicists? This last question is central to the second aim of the workshop. What are the best pedagogical practices we as instructors can employ for ensuring our classrooms are as accessible as possible (with respect to both the physical and digital classroom)? In this way we hope to wed both our concern for the past with an awareness of the issues of the future. Our three panelists will provide various approaches into teaching ancient source material as well as pedagogical principles like UDL (Universal Design in Learning), which should aid instructors in designing courses that are conceptually adept for the subject and grounded in disability justice-informed accessibility. Co-sponsored by Society for Ancient Medicine and the University of Cincinnati Department of Classics

Emotions and the Body in Greco-Roman Medicine

SAM Panel: Emotions and the Body in Greco-Roman Medicine

(Organized by Courtney Roby, Cornell University, and Colin Webster, University of California at Davis)

Friday, January 8 (Seventh Paper Session)

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.(*CST*)

Ralph Rosen (University of Pennsylvania) "Galen on 'Natural' Personalities, Intractable Souls and Bodily Mixtures"

Chiara Blanco (University of Cambridge/Durham) "Beneath the Skin: Investigating Cutaneous Conditions as Somatisations of Gendered Emotions"

Brent Arehart (University of Cincinnati) "Mind-Body Balance and Sexual Regimen in Antiquity"

Andrew Mayo (University of Michigan) "The Emotions as Causes in Galen"

Molly Mata (Rutgers University) "Using Literary Eremetic Space to Prevent Emotional Distress in Galen's De Indolentia"

AIA/SCS - SAM Symposium

Society for Ancient Medicine and Pharmacology Symposium

Tuesday, January 5th, 2021

5.15–6.15pm (*CST*)

As we attendees head into a multi-day schedule filled with panels, this event will allow us to kick off the SCS with friends. This one-hour Zoom symposium will feature revolving small-groups in break-out rooms after our preliminary introduction. We hope to highlight some upcoming SAM projects, expand your scholarly networks, and have some fun. All are welcome. Light snacks and refreshments will be imagined.

2021 AIA/SCS Joint Annual Meeting, which will be held virtually (in a few short weeks!) from Tuesday, January 5 to Sunday, January 10, 2021. All paper sessions and events held at the 2021 Annual Meeting will be conducted in central time (CT), and registration details and other information can be found here.

**The link to this event will appear on the SCS virtual meeting platform and open to all (and only) conference attendees**

Writing the Plague: How Roman disease infected literature

Hunter Garder (Univ. of South Carolina) & Caroline Wazer (Lapham's Quarterly)

Society of Ancient Medicine ZOOM EVENT: THURS. NOV. 19, @ 5pm (EST)

Plagues are paradoxical. Even as they wreak havoc on bodies and stress institutions, they can be grimly productive. As contagion reaches out to touch us, it vividly articulates the strands of our social networks, casts new light on the shapes and natures of our communities. For this reason, the implacable destruction of pestilence is an especially powerful metaphor for imagining social and civil strife. Join us on Zoom, November 19th at 5pm(EST) to hear Hunter Gardner (U of SC) and Caroline Wazer (Lapham’s Quarterly) discuss Gardner’s new book, Pestilence and the Body Politic in Latin Literature. We will explore the power of pestilence on the Roman literary imagination and civic mentality, and how it can speak to our own nosological and civic plagues. For information, please contact Colin Webster ( or Calloway Scott (

You can sign up to receive the Zoom link Here:

Co-hosted by the UC Davis Early Science Workshop