Lori Ann Garner
Search for other papers by Lori Ann Garner in
Current site
Google Scholar
On health and hearing
Hybridity of environment in Bald’s Leechbook
Abstract only
Log-in for full text

Chapter 6 continues to examine early medieval notions of health and healing by analyzing ways that remedies in Bald’s Leechbook challenge modern conceptions of hearing and deafness. Centering discussion around remedies in the third chapter of Bald’s Leechbook, this chapter brings important work in Deaf studies to bear more directly on our perception of medieval oral/aural culture. Although scholars in Deaf studies have long applied interpretive models from oral theory to analyze the cultural expressivity of signed storytelling, the influence of Deaf studies has yet to be fully felt in the fields of oral theory or Old English studies. A hybrid theoretical approach bridging these two fields productively complicates our understanding of early medieval England as a largely oral/aural culture, and evidence from surviving medical texts, law codes, and the archaeological record indicates a range of sensory perception that seems to have been widely recognized. The entries in Bald’s Leechbook suggest a worldview in which the capacity for hearing, though important, was not assumed. Rather, the faculty of hearing itself is described as changing and changeable, in terms of experience rather than identity. Old English texts describe a variety of circumstances that might temporarily or permanently limit one’s auditory range at any point in one’s life – through such forces as violence, illness, wind, or disease. This chapter’s hybrid approach seeks to broaden our awareness of health and healing beyond a modern medical model and to productively complicate our understanding of both hearing and deafness in pre-modern eras.

  • Collapse
  • Expand

All of MUP's digital content including Open Access books and journals is now available on manchesterhive.


Hybrid healing

Old English remedies and medical texts


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 69 69 7
Full Text Views 2 2 2
PDF Downloads 0 0 0