< October 2019 >
30 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31 1 2 3

Mental Health in the Medieval and Early Modern World

A conference at The University of Western Australia.


Date: Saturday 19 October 2019
Venues: Arts Lecture Rooms 4, 5 and 6 (Ground Floor, Arts Building), and the Philippa Maddern Seminar Room (Arts 1.31, First Floor, Arts Building), The University of Western Australia
Enquiries: pmrg.cmems.conference@gmail.com
Keynote Speaker: Professor Yasmin Haskell (The University of Western Australia)
Call For Papers Deadline: The Call for Papers is now closed
Registration: Registration has been extended until Wednesday 16 October (5:00pm AWST).

Note: The conference will be followed by a dinner at Itsara (a restaurant near UWA) at 7pm. You can purchase tickets for the dinner when you register for the conference. 

Download a copy of the Conference Programme

Register for the Conference 

Download the Conference Call for Papers

Visit the Conference Website




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 well-being 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: pmrg.cmems.conference@gmail.com by 31 May 2019The Call for Papers is now closed


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 pmrg.cmems.conference@gmail.comApplications for the conference bursaries are now closed

Keynote Speaker

Professor Yasmin Haskell, FAHA, is the Cassamarca Foundation Chair in Latin Humanism at the University of Western Australia. In 2017-18 Yasmin served as the  Chair of Latin and Director of the Institute of Greece, Rome and the Classical Tradition at the University of Bristol, UK. Yasmin was also a Foundation Chief Investigator (later, Partner Investigator) in the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions: Europe 1100-1800, and led research teams and projects working on 'Jesuit Emotions' and 'Passions for Learning', as well as being the convenor of the 'Languages and Emotion' cluster. 

Yasmin has published monographs, articles, and edited volumes on neo-Latin poetry, the reception of classical authors, the Latin culture of the early modern Society of Jesus, Latin in the Enlightenment, and the history of psychiatry and emotions, including Loyola’s Bees: Ideology and Industry in Jesuit Latin Didactic Poetry (Oxford: British Academy and Oxford University Press, 2003), Prescribing Ovid: The Latin Works and Networks of the Enlightened Dr Heerkens (London: Bloomsbury, 2013), Diseases of the Imagination and Imaginary Disease in the Early Modern Period (Turnhout: Brepols, 2011), (with Juanita Ruys), Latinity and Alterity in the Early Modern Period (Tempe, AZ and Turnhout: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and Brepols, 2010), and (with Raphaële Garrod), Changing Hearts: Performing Jesuit Emotions Between Europe, Asia and the Americas (Leiden: Brill, 2019).

Organisaed by the UWA Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (CMEMS) and the Perth Medieval and Renaissance Group (PMRG).

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