Community Dialogue Series at CCU focuses on medieval mental illness

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF)--"Crowd sourcing Renaissance Melancholy Madness: A Physician's Casebooks and the History of Mental Illness," a lecture that will give a behind-the-scenes look at history's attempt to diagnose mental illness, will be presented Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. in the Edwards Recital Hall at Coastal Carolina University.

Attendance is free and open to the public.

CCU history professor, Brian Nance, will present two fascinating 400-year-old case histories of mentally ill patients. Audience members will participate as psychiatrists and historians by registering modern diagnoses for these cases as well as any historical aspects that could explain them. The results will be quickly tabulated to supply the basis for a discussion of how Renaissance understandings of mental illness and healing compare to our own.

The foundation of this dialogue is "Observing Melancholy," Nance's current book project. The book inspects the history of mental illness while reflecting on the extraordinary cases of "Melancholia" published in 1590 by Dutch physician Pieter Van Forest.

The lecture is part of the Community Dialogue Series, presented by the Board of Visitors of the Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts.

Nance's concentration is in Renaissance history and the history of medicine, using Latin case histories, published in 16th century Europe, to create profound medical accounts that expose how patients and physicians understood and fought disease.

The Recital Hall is located at 133 Chanticleer Drive W. in Conway.

For more information, please contact Brian Nance at 843-349-2461.

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