Hunter Distinguished Professor Nancy Siraisi has been named the 2010 Charles Homer Haskins Prize Lecturer by the American Council of Learned Societies. Named for the first chairman of the ACLS, the Charles Homer Haskins Prize Lecture series celebrates lifelong dedication to the advancement of the humanities. The lecture will take place on May 7 at the 2010 ACLS Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.
Dr. Siraisi has been a prolific and leading scholar in the history of medicine and science of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Her research has ranged widely across these two distinct fields, from her first book on the university curriculum in medieval Padua to her current work on the role of doctors in history-writing in the Renaissance.
Through her numerous publications and professional activities Siraisi has contributed to the growth of the history of science and medicine while also fostering the continued close interaction of these fields with “mainstream” history, notably through her faithful teaching of general medieval and Renaissance history and her insistence on careful contextualization.
Her award-winning Taddeo Alderotti and His Pupils: Two Generations of Italian Medical Learning is reconstructed from extensive manuscript research the teaching of medicine in 13th- and 14th-century Bologna. In Avicenna in Renaissance Italy: The Canon and Medical Teaching of Italian Universities after 1500 she traces the longevity of the Canon of Avicenna through commentaries in Italian universities after 1500. In The Clock and the Mirror: Girolamo Cardano and Renaissance Medicine, she illuminates the medical activities of the sixteenth-century Italian physician Girolamo Cardano, from his authorship to his bedside practices. Her most recent book, History, Medicine, and the Traditions of Renaissance Learning is an investigation of the role of history and historical writing in the interests and activities of Renaissance physicians. Nancy Siraisi’s most widely read book, Medieval and Early Renaissance Medicine: An Introduction to Knowledge and Practice, is universally praised as a model of a textbook.
Dr. Siraisi received her BA from Oxford University, her PhD from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and taught in the Department of History at Hunter from 1970 until her retirement as Distinguished Professor in 2003.