Professor Iolanda Ventura
COFUND Senior Research Fellow at University College (October – December 2016)
Prof Ventura is a professor at the CNRS – Institut de Recherche et d’Histoire des Textes.
Toward a History of Pharmacy in the Late Middle Ages: Texts and Intellectual Background. Prof Ventura’s research aims at re-writing the history of medieval pharmacy by considering both its textual tradition and intellectual context. Fellowship will allow her to analyse the impact of major (albeit still understudied) late-medieval authors and works, the interaction between various systems of classifications of natural substances based on appearance, dynamics, and effects, and the links between pharmaceutical and therapeutical writings. Durham University’s and Durham Cathedral’s library hold handwritten material pertinent to this research. From a collaborative perspective, Prof Ventura’s research chimes well with Dr Stefano Cracolici’s current research on colours, developed at the Getty Research Institute in LA (especially in relation to colours and poisons as well as on colours as identifiers for substances with therapeutic effects) as well as with the interdisciplinary project on book illuminations undertaken by members of the History of the Book Group at the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies and Palace Green.