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ACLS News

Nancy Siraisi Named 2010 Haskins Prize Lecturer

5/15/2009

Nancy_Sirasi

ACLS is pleased to announce that Nancy Siraisi, Distinguished Professor Emerita, History, Hunter College, City University of New York, has been named the 2010 Charles Homer Haskins Prize Lecturer. The lecture will take place on May 7 at the 2010 ACLS Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. 

Named for the first chairman of the ACLS (1920-26), the Charles Homer Haskins Prize Lecture series celebrates lifelong dedication to the advancement of the humanities. The lectures are published in the ACLS Occasional Paper series. For more information, see www.acls.org/pubs/haskins.

Nancy Siraisi has been a prolific and leading scholar in the history of medicine and science of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Her research has ranged widely across these two distinct fields, from her first book on the university curriculum in medieval Padua to her current work on the role of doctors in history-writing in the Renaissance. 

Through her numerous publications and professional activities Nancy Siraisi has contributed to the growth of the history of science and medicine while also fostering the continued close interaction of these fields with "mainstream" history, notably through her faithful teaching of general medieval and Renaissance history and her insistence on careful contextualization.  

In her practice of intellectual history Nancy Siraisi attends not only to texts and textual traditions, but also to individual lives and daily practices, institutional settings and social relations, disciplinary distinctions and literary genres. Her award-winning Taddeo Alderotti and His Pupils: Two Generations of Italian Medical Learning (Princeton U P, 1981) is reconstructed from extensive manuscript research the teaching of medicine in 13th- and 14th-century Bologna. In Avicenna in Renaissance Italy: The Canon and Medical Teaching of Italian Universities after 1500 (Princeton U P, 1987), she traces the longevity of the Canon of Avicenna through commentaries in Italian universities after 1500. In The Clock and the Mirror: Girolamo Cardano and Renaissance Medicine (Princeton U P, 1997), she illuminates the medical activities of the sixteenth-century Italian physician Girolamo Cardano, from his authorship to his bedside practices. Her most recent book, History, Medicine, and the Traditions of Renaissance Learning (U of Michigan P, 2007), is an investigation of the role of history and historical writing in the interests and activities of Renaissance physicians. Nancy Siraisi's most widely read book, Medieval and Early Renaissance Medicine: An Introduction to Knowledge and Practice (U of Chicago P, 1990), is universally praised as a model of a textbook.

Nancy Siraisi received her B.A. from Oxford University, then moved to New York where she spent her career in New York City's public university system: she received her Ph.D. from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and taught in the Department of History at Hunter College from 1970 until her retirement as Distinguished Professor in 2003. The most critical scholars in Europe and America hold her work in the highest esteem.

Photo: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

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