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Haskins Prize Lecturers


Nancy Siraisi

2010 Haskins Prize Lecturer

Distinguished Professor Emerita, History, Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York

The lecture was delivered on May 7 during the 2010 ACLS Annual Meeting.

From the lecture program:
Nancy Siraisi was born in England in 1932. She received her B.A. from Oxford University in 1953 and her Ph.D from the City University of New York in 1970. She joined the History Department of Hunter College in 1970 and taught there until her retirement in 2003; from 1976 to 2003 she was simultaneously a member of the faculty of the Ph.D. Program in History at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Her field of study is the history of European medicine, ca. 1300-1600, in an intellectual and cultural context. She was trained as a medievalist, and her early work focused on medical teaching in Italian universities in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Subsequently, her interest shifted to the Renaissance and early modern period, especially the relations and interactions among medical learning and other branches of knowledge in the sixteenth century.

She is the author of Arts and Sciences at Padua: The Studium of Padua before 1350 (Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1973); Taddeo Alderotti and His Pupils: Two Generations of Italian Medical Learning (Princeton UP, 1981), awarded the William H. Welch Medal of the American Association for the History of Medicine in 1985; Avicenna in Renaissance Italy: The Canon and Medical Teaching in Italian Universities after 1500 (Princeton UP, 1987); Medieval and Early Renaissance Medicine: An Introduction to Knowledge and Practice (U of Chicago P, 1990), awarded the Watson Davis Prize of the History of Science Society in 1991; The Clock and the Mirror: Girolamo Cardano and Renaissance Medicine (Princeton UP, 1997); History, Medicine and the Traditions of Renaissance Learning (U of Michigan P, 2007); and numerous articles. She is co-editor, with Michael R. McVaugh, of Renaissance Medical Learning: Evolution of a Tradition, Osiris 6 (1990); with Anthony Grafton, of Natural Particulars: Nature and the Disciplines in Renaissance Europe (MIT P, 1999); with Gianna Pomata, of Historia: Empiricism and Erudition in Early Modern Europe (MIT P, 2005), and of two other volumes of essays.

Siraisi is a member of the American Philosophical Association and the Académie Internationale d’Histoire des Sciences and an emeritus fellow of the Medieval Academy of America. She was president of the Renaissance Society of America from 1994-96. She has received the History of Science Society Sarton Medal, 2003; the Renaissance Society of America Paul Oskar Kristeller Lifetime Achievement Award, 2004; the American Historical Association Award for Scholarly Distinction, 2005; and a Mac-Arthur Fellowship, 2008. She held a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1982-83 and received an honorary degree from the University of Padua in 2002. 

Photo credit: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.