Fermentation has exerted a fascination since time immemorial. Familiar above all (but not only) as a food processing technology, fermentation - together with its spinoff, decay - has impressed people since Antiquity as constituting an integral stage within the cycle of life. Yet fermentation had its pitfalls. Wine could mysteriously spoil; rotten meat was a source of contamination. Precisely because of its connection with decay and putrefaction, fermentation has always - both in practice and in theory - straddled the fine line between nourishing and poisonous, life-giving and disease-inducing. In this workshop centered around the Early Modern period, Carmen Schmechel will show how a negative view of fermentation emerges from fermentation's closeness to putrefaction and thus from its susceptibility to transmitting disease. Remarkably, this sort of dark, negative fermentation has been considered the domain of the feminine, in part due to ingrained beliefs about contagion, sexual diseases, and the impurity of menstrual blood.