Outside the Walls: Civic Belonging and Contagious Disease in Sixteenth-Century Nuremberg
AuthorNewhouse, Amy Melinda
AdvisorKarant-Nunn, Susan C.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation explores the relationship between the imperial city of Nuremberg and its extramural, contagious disease hospitals (i.e. for leprosy, plague and syphilis) between 1490 and 1585. It analyzes to what extent the patients in these outlying institutions belonged to the city or were ostracized from it. The diseases presented in three drastically different ways, providing a comparative framework to analyze early modern concepts of vulnerability to disease and levels of accepted responsibility for its citizens, inhabitants, and foreigners. My project takes Nuremberg as a conceptual unit and analytically slices it multiple ways in order to explore whether the outlying patients were inside or outside of the boundaries of the city. I begin by focusing on the hospitals' fundamental "separated status" as geographically outside the boundary of the city walls. I then complicate this simple definition by exploring the geographic and physical movements of the contagious disease workers as they were the corporal instruments of disease care; the expenditure of the city's resources in the supply of nutrition to the patients; and the provision of patients' spiritual services as their symbolic participation in Nuremberg's Body of Christ. I argue that the inhabitants of Nuremberg's contagious disease hospitals were separated outside the walls in order to limit the city's vulnerability to their contaminating physical condition, but they still belonged under the city’s administration, provision, and protection, and, therefore, within the boundary of civic responsibility. In the movement of bodies, all of these seemingly competing boundaries were observed simultaneous, creating the paradoxical position of the extramural patients and continuously redefining Nuremberg as a civic unit.
Degree ProgramGraduate College