Event box

Wednesday, June 26, 2024
10:00am - 11:00am
UCLA Library Special Collections

Please join Library Special Collections for a lecture from 2024 Rootenberg scholar Jessica Hogbin.

Please click the More Details button above to register for the webinar.

Renaissance scholars used and abused melancholy, a now-defunct category from humoral theory, to explain the human mind and the natural world. Through the study of early print materials on melancholy and the mind held at UCLA Library Special Collections, this talk engages with early modern conceptions around mental function, considering how fear, genius and madness could share the same origin.

Italian philosophers and physicians used print to debate and disseminate theories about melancholy, a term which could refer to a bodily humor associated with sloth, a potentially deadly disease, and a desirable mental state correlated with intelligence. However, it was the term’s ambiguity that also allowed for its ubiquity and utility in understanding the relationship between bodily and mental function, developing beliefs which continue to impact our understanding of mental health to this day.

Event Organizer

Suzy Lee