Events Spring 2016

Medieval Colloquium also holds regular workshops of graduate student work. Please be in contact if you would like to participate: medguild at gmail dot com 


Professor Robert Rouse (Univ. of British Columbia): “There Be Dragons: Medieval Spatiality and Ecology Before the Map”

February 11, 2016 at 7pm.

409 Barnard Hall, Barnard College, Columbia University

All welcome. RSVP encouraged,

Abstract: The dominant modern technology of the map imposes what one might term a Ptolemaic straightjacket over the geographical imagination. Prior to the revival of Ptolemaic cartography, medieval culture is characterized by a plurality of geographical modes, a fractured lens, a poly-chromatic landscape of possibility and meaning.

This paper seeks to articulate and to explore the central question of my current book project: how did late-medieval England know the world? What were the modes and nature of the geographical representations through which the English constructed, transmitted, and – in large part – invented, their view of the wider world that lay beyond their own personal and cultural orbits? As such I am interested in both the modes of representation and in the content that such representations convey: the how and the what.”


Professor Eliza Zingesser (Columbia): “Bird Talk: Avian Poetics in Medieval France and Occitania”

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 6pm. Location TBA (Columbia main campus)

Abstract: Focusing on songs by the troubadour Marcabru and the trouvère Richard de Fournival, I argue that medieval French and Occitan poets used song as a means to bridge the divide between, on the one hand, human and avian language, and, on the other, vox articulata and inarticulata (meaningful and meaningless voice). Marcabru’s sturnine and Richard’s psittacine zoopoetics foreground the recursive acoustic structures that are the constitutive feature of rhymed poetry.

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