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The Total Library: Aspirations for Complete Knowledge in the Middle Ages and Renaissance (Online)
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 Export to Your Calendar 12/5/2020
When: Saturday, December 5, 2020
Where: United States

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The Total LibraryAspirations for Complete Knowledge in the Middle Ages and Renaissance

The 27th Biennial Conference of the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program of Barnard College

Barnard College, New York City

December 5, 2020

ONLINE CONFERENCE

 

Plenary Speakers:

Ann Blair (Harvard University) 

Elias Muhanna (Brown University)

 

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 scholars of multiple disciplines (art history, history, literary studies, religion, history of science) to raise questions about the technologies, social structures, and modes of thought that shape what knowledge means at a given moment.

 

PLEASE NOTE THAT, DUE TO COVID-19, THIS CONFERENCE WILL BE HELD ONLINE VIA ZOOM. WE ARE EXTENDING THE SUBMISSION DEADLINE TO SEPTEMBER 1. Please submit an abstract of 250-300 words and a 2-page CV to Rachel Eisendrath, reisendr@barnard.edu.

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Opinions expressed by members in print, video, or online represent their personal views, not necessarily those of the Medieval Academy of America.

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