What do brackets want? Professor Jane Gilbert, University College London
The Annual Riddy Lecture
The brackets that appear in many medieval manuscripts intrigue and charm many of us. In part, no doubt, this is because brackets are evidence of medieval people’s active engagement with copying and reading; but this lecture explores the hold that brackets exert over us as an effect of their own agency. Jane begins with intellectual historian Ayelet Even-Ezra’s recent, wonderful account of brackets as external cognitive tools shaping the distinctive ways in which people thought from the twelfth to fifteenth centuries. She will then draw on art theorist W. J. T. Mitchell to consider brackets as ‘quasi life-forms’ with desires of their own and demands to make of us. In doing so, she will think about how and why brackets travel, how they accompany and charm us, and especially about the effects of their presence on poetic texts.
This lecture will run as a hybrid Zoom/in person event from BS/005, Bowland Auditorium, Berrick Saul Building, University of York Heslington West Campus.
Register on this page to attend by Zoom. The Zoom log-in details will be circulated the morning of 16 May.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend in person (limited places).