BabMed Seminar 2: Ulrike Steinert, A Matter of Theory: Female Blood and Menstruation in Babylonian and Greek Medicine
A presentation within
BabMed Seminar 2
Greek and Babylonian Medicine – A Comparative View
Winter Semester 2015/2016
Tuesday, 6-8 pm, Bibliothek TOPOI-Haus, Hittorfstraße 18, 14195 Berlin
Convened by Markham J. Geller/Principal Investigator BabMed,
in cooperation with TOPOI Excellence Cluster, Freie Universität Berlin Dahlem.
Comparing Mesopotamian and Greek ideas about menstruation teaches a fundamental insight: medical notions concerning the female body and its physiology are not only culture-specific. They reveal a lot about cultural constructions of gender and male-female relations, but they are also linked with more general ideas about human nature and social order.
The second central insight from this comparison is that different cultures ascribe quite differing meanings and evaluations to menstrual blood. Neither is menstruation universally regarded as a regular process essential to women's health and bodies, nor is menstrual blood always and everywhere feared as polluting or dangerous.
Unravelling the significance of ancient medical concepts, such as those relating to "female blood" in Mesopotamia, requires a nuanced reading and contextual analysis of the textual evidence, which prompts a revision of some current conclusions regarding Babylonian views of menstruation.
The BabMed Seminar 2 is being organised in cooperation with TOPOI excellence cluster Berlin Dahlem.
Zeit & Ort
24.11.2015 | 18:00 c.t. - 20:00
BabMed Seminar 2,
Bibliothek TOPOI-Haus, Hittorfstraße 18, 14195 Berlin