Knowing Nature in the Medieval and Early Modern Worlds
University of Maryland, College Park
Oct. 24-25, 2014
Nature, according to the critic Raymond Williams, is quite possibly “the most difficult word in the English language.” The genealogy of nature’s complexities—semantic, philological, epistemological, ontological—are the subject of this two-day conference that seeks to bring into dialogue historians of science, philosophy, art, and literature. How did early writers and artists and other thinkers know and encounter nature? What practices made nature legible? What ethics were thought to arise out of the environment? This event considers a wide variety of cultural productions in the medieval and early modern periods. By what metaphors and strategies did pre-modern people represent the sensible world of matter? This event considers a wide variety of cultural productions in the medieval and early modern periods, seeking to rethink the relation between fields of knowledge and to bridge the widening gap between the humanities and the sciences in our own universities.
Confirmed speakers: Jeffrey Cohen (GWU), Drew Daniel (Johns Hopkins), Alan Mikhail (Yale), David Norbrook (Merton College, Oxford), Stephen Campbell (Johns Hopkins), Joanna Picciotto (UC Berkeley), David Simon (Chicago), Michael Witmore (Folger Shakespeare Library), Jessica Wolfe (UNC Chapel Hill), and Michael Sappol (National Library of Medicine).
For more information, please contact Chris Maffuccio at firstname.lastname@example.org.