westdance: Medieval Matters: Memory, the Engine of Thought (Stanford)

Cin cinbarnes at gmail.com
Mon Apr 12 17:26:40 PDT 2010

You seem like the sort of people who'd be interested in this:
I have another class that nite, so if you go, you'll get to tell me
all about it.
Cynthia Barnes
CinBarnes at gmail.com

Medieval Matters: Memory, the Engine of Thought
Medieval Matters is a series of public lectures sponsored by Stanford
Continuing Studies, the Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies,
the Office for Religious Life, Center for Advanced Study in the
Behavioral Sciences, and the Sarum Seminar. It explores the relevance
of medieval history and culture to understanding the modern world.

In the Middle Ages, memory was at the heart of culture—verbal, visual,
and auditory. People who mastered the art of memory were capable of
prodigious feats of recall including memorizing the entire Book of
Psalms and other vast sections of the Bible, committing lengthy
speeches to memory and delivering them without notes, and composing
books in their entirety in the mind’s eye and then dictating
individual chapters at random to a series of scribes working
simultaneously. From the vantage point of our own world, with our
dependence on printed books and electronic databases, the medieval art
of memory is hard to conceive. It was esteemed as a great rational and
creative power, in many ways the engine of invention and thought
itself. Through a series of texts and pictures, this lecture explores
the rich territory of the medieval art of memory as a concept, how the
skill was acquired, and how it worked in practice.

Remarque Professor of Literature, New York University
Mary Carruthers is the author of many essays and books on aspects of
medieval culture, including The Book of Memory and The Craft of
Thought, and was the co-editor of a volume of translated Latin texts,
The Medieval Craft of Memory. She is a Fellow and past president of
the Medieval Academy of America.

Tuesday, April 13
7:00 – 9:00 pm
Annenberg Auditorium, Cummings Art Building
FREE ; no registration required
Open to the public

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