Conference Schedule


Ross Ashton, Projection Artist, UK
Katherine Bader, Director at Huron Higher Education Consulting and PhD Candidate in History at Durham University
Nader El-Bizri, Professor and Director of the Civilization Studies Program at the American       University of Beirut (AUB); Director of the Anis Makdisi Program in Literature at AUB;       Coordinator of the MA in Islamic Studies at the AUB Centre for Arab and Middle Eastern      Studies.
Timothy Farrant, DPhil Theology Candidate, University of Oxford
Luke Fidler, PhD Candidate, Department of Art History, University of Chicago
Giles Gasper, Reader in High Medieval History, Durham University
Joshua Harvey, DPhil Candidate, Engineering Science, University of Oxford
Neil Lewis, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Georgetown University
Tom McLeish, Professor of Physics, Durham University and Fellow of the Royal Society
Nicola Polloni, Junior Research Fellow in Medieval Philosophy, Durham University
Brett Smith, PhD candidate in theology, The Catholic University of America
Hannah Smithson, Associate Professor of Experimental Psychology, Oxford University
Sigbjørn Sønnesyn, Postdoctoral Research Fellow (High Medieval History) in the Department of History, Durham University

We are also very pleased to have attending as pre-publication workshop chair, Prof. Cecilia Panti of the University of Rome, Tor Vergata, who is a noted expert on Grosseteste’s scientific writings.

Conference Schedule

Friday, March 31st
Open to public, visitors welcome.

Location: Georgetown University, McShain Lounge

9:30-10:10       Brett Smith: ‘A Theme Song of His Life’: Aspectus and Affectus in the Writings of Robert Grosseteste

10:10-10:50     Giles Gasper: ‘The Background to Grosseteste’s AspectusAffectus Distinction: Anselm,  Astronomy and the De spiritu et anima’

10:50-11:00    Break

11:00-11:40     Sigbjørn Sønnesyn: ‘Beati mundo corde quoniam ipsi Deum videbunt’: Affectus of the Soul and the Sight of the Mind in Isaac of Stella

11:40-12:20     Nicola Polloni: Effectusaffectus, and defectus: Causality and Causation of the Substrate

12:20-13:20        Lunch in conference room for official participants

13:20-14:00         Neil Lewis: ‘The Structure of the Soul: Aspectus and Affectus in Richard Fishacre and Richard Rufus of Cornwall’

14:00-14:40         Timothy Farrant: ‘Celestial Illusion, Perception, and Moralised Zoology in Alexander Neckam’s De naturis rerum’

14:40-14:50        Break

14:50-15:30         Kathy Bader: ‘Arabic Astronomical Texts in the 12th-Century Severn Valley’

15:30-16:30         Free time

16:30-18:30         Public talk followed by reception:

Modern Science, Medieval Studies and Art in Dialog: Bishop Robert Grosseteste’s (c.1170 – 1253) Scientific World of Light, Sound and the Big Bang


Neil Lewis: ‘Introduction’
Tom McLeish: ‘When a Modern Physicist meets a Medieval Scientist’
Giles Gasper: ‘Robert Grosseteste and the Ordered Universe’
Tom McLeish: ‘Sound and Space’
Giles Gasper: ‘Creative Collaborations’
Ross Ashton: ‘Projecting the Cosmos: Projection Art and the Ordered Universe’ (includes a montage of three sound and light shows: The World MachineSpiritus, and Spiritus: Light and Dark, from Light Festivals at Durham (2015), Berlin (2016) and Cambridge (2017))

                        Location: McShain Lounge, Georgetown University.

19:00                 Conference Dinner at 1789 restaurant (very short walk from campus)


Saturday, April 1st

Location: Georgetown University, Philosophy Department conference room, 204 New North.

9:30-10:10       Nader El-Bizri: ‘Alhazen’s Theory of Visual Perception and its Physiological, Cognitive and Experiential Bearings’

10:10-10:50     Tom McLeish: An Exploration of Scientific Creativity through the Mirror of Aspectus and Affectus

10:50-11:00     Break

11:00-11:40     Hannah Smithson: ‘The Embodiment of Human Perception: Exchanges between Robert Grosseteste and Modern Perceptual Science’

11:40-12:20     Joshua Harvey: ‘On the generation, transmission, and perception of sound’

12:20-13:40       Lunch in Library

13:40-14:20         Luke Fidler: ‘Aspectus and the Apperception of Sculpture’

14:20-14:30         Break

Pre-publication workshop

Closed to public



19:30 Dinner in conference room

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