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Symposia 2020-2021


Medicine, Slave Markets and Labour 1300-1700 in the Mediterranean and Atlantic World

The symposium is centred around Hannah Barker's ground-breaking book That Most Precious Merchandise: The Mediterranean Trade in Black Sea Slaves (Philadelphia 2019), which explores the common culture of slavery in Genoa, Venice, and the Mamluk sultanate of Egypt and Greater Syria in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Barker's work is exceptional in that she presents a combined analysis of Arabic and Latin sources on the application of medical and physiognomical knowledge in Mamluk and Italian appraisals of the enslaved destined to work in domestic, army or agricultural settings.

Master Class

In preparation of this symposium, students will write an academic review of Barker's monograph. In addition, they will each prepare three questions in advance, pertaining to 1) methodology, 2) source analysis, and 3) relevance.

- Aimed at: Research MA students and PhD students.
- Period and location: Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the course will be split into two parts. For the first part, the participants will have to submit their written work by the end of September 2020 at the latest. Their submissions will be discussed in a ‘master class’ to be held at a later date and led by dr. Weeda and, if practically possible, involving the physical or digital participation of dr. Barker. The second part of the course is provisionally scheduled for the (early) spring of 2021, and it will consist of a concluding conference, with key note papers by dr. Barker and one or two other invited specialists. Participants in the course will be expected to attend this conference.
- Course coordinator: dr. C. Weeda (Leiden).
- Course load: 2 ECTS.

To register for the master class:

Please send an email to: ozsmed@hum.leidenuniv.nl

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