Invited Speakers

We are pleased to have had six eminent guest speakers: Vincent Barras (University of Lausanne), Margaret Healy (University of Sussex), Tony Hunt (University of Oxford), Eric Masserey  (Lausanne), Jennifer Richards (Newcastle University) and Heinrich von Staden (Princeton University).

Professor Vincent Barras was educated in art, music and medicine. Currently a Full Professor in the History of Medicine at the University of Lausanne, he also teaches at the Geneva University of Art and Design. He is a founder member of Editions Contrechamps, a series devoted to contemporary music and aesthetics. He has organised performances and sound poetry for the Geneva Festival / La Bâtie 1987-2003, and is general editor of Gesnerus: The Swiss Journal of the History of Medicine and Sciences. His publications include: Poésies sonores, Geneva 1992 (dir. with N. Zurbrugg) ; Galien. Les passions de l’âme, Paris 1995 (with T. Birchler and A.F. Morand) ; Homard et autres pièces inquiétantes et capitales CD (Swiss Association of Musicians, 2000 (with J. Demierre) ; La médecine des lumières : tout autour de Tissot, Geneva 2001 (dir. with M. Louis-Courvoisier) ; Visions du rêve (dir. collective book), Geneva 2002 ; Gad gag vazo gadati, voicing through saussure, CD (Heros-Limite, Geneva) 2004 (with J. Demierre) ; Symptômes, Geneva 2006 (with J. Demierre) ; « Neurosciences et médecine » (dir. with J.-Cl. Dupont), Revue d’histoire des sciences, 63, 2010..

Dr Margaret Healy is Reader in English and Co-Director of the Centre for Early Modern Studies at the University of Sussex. She teaches many aspects of Renaissance Literature and is particularly interested in the cultural history of the body and the interfaces among literature, medicine and science. She has published widely on these topics and is a major contributor to A Cultural History of the Human Body in the Renaissance (2010). She is the author of Fictions of Disease in Early Modern England: Bodies, Plagues and Politics (2001) and Richard II (1998) and co-editor of Renaissance Transformations: the Making of English Writing 1500-1650 (2009). Her most recent monograph is Shakespeare, Alchemy and the Creative Imagination: the Sonnets and A Lover’s Complaint (CUP, 2011). She edits the new British Medical Journal, Medical Humanities. She is presently working on a monograph entitled, Literature and Medicine in the Early Modern Period.

Since 1991 Dr Tony Hunt has been successively Besse Fellow and Tutor in French, Vice-Master, Senior Research Fellow, and Emeritus Fellow of St Peter’s College Oxford. At the University of St Andrews he held a British Academy Research Readership from 1986 to 1988. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, a Foreign Member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, and an Officier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques. He has written over 20 books presenting previously unpublished texts, and his studies of medieval medicine include Plant Names of Medieval England (1989), Popular Medicine in Thirteenth-Century England , The Medieval Surgery (1992), Anglo-Norman Medicine (1994-97), (with M. Benskin) Three Receptaria from Medieval England: the languages of medicine in the fourteenth century (2001), An Old French Herbal (2009), Old French Medical Texts (2011), “The Beginnings of Medical Instruction in medieval France” (Romania, 2012)


Dr Eric Masserey (Medecin cantonal, Service de la santé publique, Lausanne). Author of Le retour aux Indes, Le sommeil séfarade, and Une si belle ignorance (généalogies).

Professor Jennifer Richards is Professor of early modern literature and culture at Newcastle University and is currently Head of English. She is the author of Rhetoric and Courtliness in Early Modern England (Cambridge University Press, 2003; 2007), and Rhetoric: the New Critical Idiom (Routledge 2007). She is the co-editor of several collections of essays including, Shakespeare’s late plays: new readings (Edinburgh University Press, 1999), Early Modern Civil Discourses (2003) and, most recently, a special issue on ‘The Textuality and Materiality of Early Modern Reading’ (Huntington Library Quarterly, 2010). She has published many essays on early modern culture in journals such as Criticism, Renaissance Quarterly and Huntington Library Quarterly. She is currently editing the works of Thomas Nashe for a new edition to be published by Oxford University Press in 2015 (with Prof. Andrew Hadfield), and is writing a new monograph, ‘Useful Books: Literature and Health in Early Modern England’, of which a chapter will appear next year in The Journal of the History of Ideas (‘Useful books: reading vernacular regimens in sixteenth-century England’). She is an associate editor of the international and interdisciplinary research journal Renaissance Studies.

Professor Heinrich von Staden has written on a variety of topics in ancient science, medicine, philosophy, and literary theory, from the fifth century B.C. to the fifth century A.D. Drawing on a wide range of scientific, philosophical, and religious sources, he has contributed to the transformation of the history of ancient science and medicine, particularly of the Hellenistic period. His book Herophilus: The Art of Medicine in Early Alexandria (1989) is a major contribution to the history of Greek intellectual discourse. His current projects include a book on Erasistratus (one of the two early pioneers of human dissection), a study of the role of animals in ancient scientific theories and practices, and further work on the “semantics of matter” in ancient science. Universität Tübingen, Ph.D. 1968; Yale University, Faculty 1968–98, William Lampson Professor of Classics and Comparative Literature 1996–98; University of California, Berkeley, Sather Professor of Classical Literature 2009–10; Institute for Advanced Study, Professor 1998–2010, Professor Emeritus 2010–; Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, Institut de France, Foreign Member; Akademie der Wissenschaften, Göttingen, Corresponding Fellow; American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Fellow; American Philosophical Society, Member; British Academy, Corresponding Fellow; Finnish Academy of Science and Letters, Foreign Member; Université de Lausanne, Honorary Doctorate of Letters 2010; Université Paris-Sorbonne, Honorary Doctorate 2011; American Philological Association, Charles Goodwin Award of Merit 1992; American Association for History of Medicine, William H. Welch Medal 1993