Mary J. Carruthers, Professor of Literature Emeritus, New York University
Cognitive Geometries: Using Diagrams in the Middle Ages
Lecture Dates: March 20, 21, 23, 2017
All lectures begin at 5:30pm
Class of 1978 Pavilion
Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Van Pelt-Dietrich Library, 6th floor
3420 Walnut Street
Monday, March 20, 2017: “Geometry and the Topics of Invention”
Tuesday, March 21, 2017: “The Shapes of Creativity 1: Trees, Towers, Buildings”
Thursday, March 23, 2017: “The Shapes of Creativity 2: Hands, Spheres, Cubits”
Cognitive Geometries explores the close relationships in medieval creative practice among geometric shapes, meditation, and the human ability to create original works. Focusing on materials crafted in the twelfth century, chiefly on the basis of Biblical texts, and then disseminated widely during the thirteenth century, each lecture investigates the fundamental cognitive insight of medieval diagram makers: that shape and pattern not only envision what we already know but also invite us to discover surprising logical relationships that can provoke our thinking in new ways.
Mary J. Carruthers is the Remarque Professor of Literature Emeritus at New York University and a Fellow (Quondam) of All Souls College, Oxford University. She has written extensively on medieval literature, memory and the history of spirituality. She holds a Ph.D. in English from Yale University (1965) and a B.A. in English from Wellesley College (1961). Carruthers is the author of twelve monographs including her 1990 canonical study, The Book of Memory: A Study of Memory in Medieval Culture (Cambridge). She is the author of numerous scholarly articles and the recipient of many academic honors. She was elected a Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America in 1996 and a Corresponding Fellow of The British Academy in 2012. In 2003, Carruthers was awarded The Haskins Medal by the Medieval Academy of America for “the best book in the broad field of medieval studies during the past five years” for The Craft of Thought: Meditation, Rhetoric, and the Making of Images, 400-1200 (Cambridge).
For more information: (215) 898-7088; dmcknigh@upenn or firstname.lastname@example.org
To RSVP please visit: http://www.library.upenn.edu/exhibits/lectures/rosenbachs.html