Call for papers
Cities, Urban Societies, and Syphilis in the Mediterranean, 16th-21st Centuries
Faculty of Medicine, Marseille, 25-27 October 2017
With almost 500 cases diagnosed in France in 2015, syphilis has not disappeared yet. The “scourge of Naples” is still challenging society and medicine. The very nature of syphilis both frightens and fascinates. Traditionally considered a shameful disease contracted in the intimacy of the bedroom, it has been of concern to societies for many centuries now, as it relates to their morals, their capacity to medically and therapeutically innovate, as well as their arrangements for the enforcement of a public health policy or their will to assume an efficient healthcare policy. Although those questions are not recent, they remain deeply rooted in our relationship to the disease and to the bodies it inhabits, which can be severely bruised in the third stage of its evolution.
The main topic of this symposium is to propose a convergence among scholarship emanating from historians, anthropologists, and physicians with a focus on the “shock” caused by the encounter of the Treponema pallidum with societies on a municipal scale, and particularly in harbour cities. The symposium aims at combining a multiplicity of contexts, including global, colonial, and metropolitan perspectives, and a long-time perspective with the contemporary experience of a growing syphilis epidemic.
The symposium will be organized into three sessions aiming at documenting and giving useful information about the spread of the disease on the scale of a city, a harbour and notably a Mediterranean territory. In order to compare diffusion as well as origins of the disease, contributions about other geographical areas will also be welcome. Preference will be given to papers that explore a municipal scale or harbour context (be it civil or military) or that deal with enclosed spaces, like enclaves or geographically, culturally or socially-isolated populations.
The symposium will start with communications dealing with very contemporary medical issues (Session 1 – Cities, Urban Societies and Syphilis in the Mediterranean: Current Medical Data). These contributions will be based on issues linked with the diagnosis and the epidemiology of syphilis, with the methods of prevention and the way public health policies work on the ground, or with the available therapeutic solutions. The symposium will then move on to diachronic perspectives (Session 2 – Cities, Urban Societies and Syphilis in the Mediterranean: Historical Context and Medical-historical Inferences). To finish, the anthropological dimension will be taken into account (Session 3 – Cities, Urban Societies and Syphilis in the Mediterranean: Anthropological Approach). Beyond the paleo-pathological and archeo-thanatological contexts, this final session will try to broach the evolution of social constructions and differing representations of the disease.
We accept both paper and poster communications. Papers can be submitted for all three sessions; posters, based on case reports or shorter studies, can be included only for Sessions 1 and 3.
The conference languages are French and English, and abstracts for papers and posters may be submitted in either language.
All abstracts must include:
- a text (maximum of 1000 words), in Microsoft Office Word or compatible format. This should explain contain the main goals, methodology, results, discussion or final considerations of the presentation. It should clearly state whether you wish to present a paper or a poster
- Title of paper/poster
- Author(s) and institutional address(es);
- Contact emails for all authors
- Session in which you would like to present
- Between three to five keywords to use for indexing. These should not appear in the title of the abstract.
Please submit all abstracts via email to email@example.com). The deadline for abstract submission is 30 APRIL 2017.
Some tourist informations about Marseille and Provence
Accommodations in Marseille