Noise and the Medical Body in Early Modern Italy


NFC Doctoral Fellow Seminars

Sixteenth and seventeenth century Italian medical and health practices forwarded that sound moved through the air, entered into the body, and disrupted the body's internal state for better or for worse. Controlling sound was directly linked to regulating bodily health and purity. Through an examination of the soundscapes surrounding women’s institutions in early modern Florence and emerging medical literature, Julia Rombough offers a gendered acoustemology of sound, considering the links between noise, gender, health and the body.

Julia Rombough is a PhD candidate in the Department of History. Her research examines the soundscapes of women's convents, refuge homes and reform houses in early modern Italy. Through a study of the sonic experiences of institutionalized women her dissertation considers links between the immaterial world of the senses and the material world of buildings, streets and gendered bodies. 

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