Tuesday, January 28, 2020

*The Total Library: **Aspirations 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

*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 submit an abstract of 250-300 words and a 2-page CV by *May 15, 2020* to
Rachel Eisendrath, reisendr@barnard.edu.

No comments: