Thom Dawkins Presents 2015-2016 Dean’s Fellows Lecture


“No Ill Physicians: Jean Fernel’s Physologia and George Herbert’s Curative Poetics”
Date: Friday, February 19, 2016, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Location: Zverina Room, Dittrick Medical History Center and Museum

In A Priest to the Temple, or The Country Parson, the poet and priest George Herbert writes that the country parson “desires to be all to his parish, and not only a pastor, but… [also] a physician.” He also recommends the French physician Jean François Fernel’s “Book of Phisick,” the Universa Medicina, which was widely read well into the seventeenth century. This talk will consider the ways in which Herbert’s theology and poetics may have been affected by his reading of Fernel, particularly in his posthumously published collection of poems, The Temple.

Thom Dawkins is a Ph.D. candidate at the dissertation stage, studying early modern poetry and its relation to contemporaneous medical and theological discourses. An inaugural recipient of the CWRU Dean’s Fellowship, he conducts his research at the nearby Allen Medical Library. He completed his M.F.A. in Creative Writing (Poetry) at Chatham University and his Master of Theological Studies at the Vanderbilt Divinity School.

This is the second Dean’s Fellows Lecture of the academic year, following Jess Slentz’s lecture in October 2015.