The Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program at Barnard College is pleased to announce the following conference:
The Total Library: Aspirations for Complete Knowledge in the Middle Ages and Renaissance
Saturday, December 5, 2020
Elias Muhanna, Brown University
Ann Blair, Harvard University
REGISTRATION AND FULL SCHEDULE CAN BE FOUND HERE:
According to Borges, “The fancy or the imagination or the utopia of the Total Library has certain characteristics that are easily confused with virtues.” This one-day conference will explore the aspiration for complete knowledge in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, an aspiration expressed in atlases, herbals, encyclopedias that were meant to mirror and maybe tame the diversity of the earth by including in their pages everything. Whether virtuous or problematic, the fantasy of the complete mastery of knowledge created utopias of learning. In our current moment when the value of knowledge is under question, we invite you to join scholars of multiple disciplines to raise questions about the technologies, social structures, and modes of thought that shape what knowledge means at a given moment.
Please note that registration is free but required. All those who register will receive, in early December, links to attend the Zoom sessions.