De atra bile: An (auto)biography of cancer

Calloway Scott // Look at a recent history of cancer and you might learn something like the following: in the ancient world, cancers were rare. This is owing to shorter lifespans of the population and more limited environmental, occupational, and habitual exposure to carcinogens. It is also very probable that you will learn that the…

The Invention of “Greek” Medicine

Calloway Scott // Early histories of medicine in the west typically traced the “invention” of scientific medicine to the “Greek miracle” of the Classical era (500-323 BCE). That this historiographic narrative—offering contemporary medical method and thought a compelling and authoritative origin—suited a wide variety of 19th and early 20th century interests is hardly surprising. Positivist histories of…

Ancient Medicine, Future Bodies

Calloway Scott // I want to make a case for looking back to the Corpus Hippocraticum—the Hippocratic Corpus—as a valuable site for thinking about the medical humanities and its future. The 60 odd medical treatises which make up the Corpus are really the works of many hands working at different times and places over the course…