Writing as a Stadtarzt

between administrative and learned culture

The interaction between physicians, patients and members of the authorities has been analysed to describe the medical market or health-care and poor-relief in the early modern period. The interaction as such, the media of interaction and their impact on society have been neglected until recently when discussions centred on genres of scientific and medical writing. In writing a medical certificate or a journal the Stadtarzt (physician or surgeon) enters into a specific field where he is performing according to his relatedness to social networks, his personal experience and medical knowledge, on the one hand. On the other hand, his writing is interacting with demands of patients and families, with administrative decisions, and with expectations resulting from tradition or customs.

Thousands of certificates in local archives as well as thousands of pages in an individual medical journal show that paper signed and written by physicians and surgeons changed in form and content. An analysis of such change provides insight into processes of knowledge-transfer and knowledge-generation in the context of local politics and culture. These processes are based on the intersection of differing writing-techniques in scholarly, economic, political, administrative and governmental context.

The project of Annemarie Kinzelbach is focused on writing physicians and surgeons, the knowledge-production or, rather, knowledge-adaptation in the culture of Imperial towns or surrounding territories in Southern parts of the Holy Roman Empire. It will be developped around three main items: (1) intersections of practices as a Stadtarzt and as a scholar; (2) interrelations between juridical-administrative and medical concepts and practices; (3) interdependency of individual, general or political goals, practices and strategies.