Annual Riddy Lecture
Immanuel Kant famously defined philology as the critical knowledge of the books and the languages therein. Books are complex, evolving forms of knowledge, and a critical understanding of them is crucial in defining the contribution that they make to society, languages and cultures. The book ‘can know more than [it] can tell’, and paper, one of the constituent material of this culture, contributes immensely to this unfolding narrative. In this lecture, Orietta Da Rold will consider the critical knowledge of paper, tell some of the hidden stories of this material, branching out to how the idea of paper in the medieval period shaped modernity.