Research in Focus
The European Renaissance was the great age of the book, witnessing profound changes in media technologies and distribution, and producing some of the finest books ever made in both manuscript and print. In this richly-illustrated lecture, Dr Helen Smith explores how the book became an object of aesthetic, literary, and philosophical attention, which fascinated illuminators and painters, poets and collectors, and early scientists alike. Introducing the audience to a band of unlikely guides from the fields of animal studies, anthropology, the history of science, and cognitive neuroscience, Helen will explore the varieties of physical and imaginative craft that went into producing books and their representations.
Entering into the space of the scriptorium and the printing house, as well as readerly closets, studies, and laboratories, Helen will investigate the kinds of embodied knowledge that went into creating a rich range of texts. Finally, she will ask how books shape their readers and users, demonstrating that early modern books were not simply sources of textual knowledge, but were themselves experimental and cognitive resources that shaped the way in which artists, scientists, and philosophers saw the world around them.
Dr Helen Smith is Director of the Centre for Renaissance and Early Modern Studies and Reader in Renaissance Literature at the University of York. Born in Edinburgh, Helen grew up in Yorkshire, before returning to Scotland to undertake her undergraduate degree at the University of Glasgow. Helen completed her PhD here at the University of York and taught at the universities of St Andrews and Hertfordshire before returning to the Department of English and Related Literature.
Research in Focus
Other Research in Focus events include:
This lecture is rescheduled from its original date of 21 April.