Sessions on "Disease in the Medieval Islamicate World", International Medieval Congress, 4 July 2023

Monica Green's picture

Dear H-World Colleagues,

On 4 July 2023, five panels will be held at the Leeds International Medieval Congress (IMC) on the theme, "Disease in the Medieval Islamicate World." Eighteen scholars will gather to present the latest work on perceptions and impacts of infectious diseases in the Islamicate world from the 7th to the 15th centuries. Further information about the IMC 2023 Program can be found here: Our panels are numbered 542, 642, 742, 842, and 942.

The last general survey on the Black Death in the Islamicate world was published 46 years ago. Other diseases have never received any monographic treatment at all. Yet the landscape of disease history has been utterly transformed in the past decade. Even though very little pathogen aDNA ("ancient DNA") has yet been retrieved from anywhere in the Islamicate world (most samples to date have come from excavation sites in Europe), paleogenetics has nevertheless had a transformative effect in allowing historians to understand the larger trajectories of infectious diseases across medieval landscapes. Similarly, digital access to unpublished manuscripts and printed editions has created new opportunities to investigate the cultural history of disease experiences and the history of medicine. Taking a global approach to the history of infectious diseases and placing the experiences of the Islamicate world at the center of Afro-Eurasian networks that circulated people, products, and pathogens, the scholars presenting in these sessions will bring new insights both to traditional questions of the social and intellectual history of medicine and to the epidemiology of infectious diseases, especially plague.

The IMC is being run as a hybrid event, with the expectation that all papers will be recorded. Videos will be available for reviewing to registered attendees until the end of August. For details (including registration fees), see The registration deadline is 5 May 2023.

For further information about the panels on disease, contact the organizers: and

Monica H. Green, PhD


Fellow, Medieval Academy of America

Independent Scholar

Twitter: @monicaMedHist