In the ancient and medieval worlds, certain forms of love were diagnosed—and treated—as medical illnesses. To the medieval mind, love was suffering, a pathological state in and of itself. These ideas of disordered love have had an outsized impact on the way love is understood in Western culture.
This class will consider medieval and modern texts, both literary and scientific, to explore how the way we talk about romantic love has — and hasn't — changed over the last eight centuries. An examination of “love-as-sickness' gives us insight into cultural assumptions about this nearly universal experience and provides a springboard to examine the rise and fall of diseases as medical and cultural phenomena.
Five Sessions: $205/$184.50. Led by Annalese Duprey