Last week Giles Gasper and Sigbjørn Sønnesyn attended the Residential Research Library Inaugural Conference held, conventiently for our Durham University-based speakers at St Chad’s College and Ushaw College.
Next week sees the penultimate Ordered Universe symposium in the current series, and we are back in the wonderful surroundings of Pembroke College, University of Oxford. Our meeting will cover collaborative readings of the treatises On Lines, On the Nature of Places (these two really two halves of a single treatise), On the Rainbow, newly edited and translated, On Colour, and a revisit to On the Impressions of the Elements. We’re delighted to welcome new participants, in particular Sophie Abrahams and Joseph Hurd from the University of York, and Jack Ford from University College London. We have made the programme available on Issuu (below) and in PDF form:
Enormous thanks, as ever, to all of those involved in the organising, especially to Rebekah White and the Oxford team, and to Sarah Gilbert.
News that this year’s Bishop Grosseteste Lecture, at Bishop Grosseteste University, will be delivered by Bishop David Thomson, a long-serving Ordered Universe member. David Continue reading
Delighted to give news of a forthcoming publication from the Ordered Human project, a scion project to Ordered Universe based at Bishop Grosseteste University and the University of Oxford, with many scholars from a wide variety of places and backgrounds. Pubished by Routledge, Robert Grosseteste and Theories of Education is edited by Jack Cunningham and Steven Puttick, and will be available on 16th December. Authors include Jack and Steven, Giles Gasper, Brian Tanner, Tom McLeish, Giacchino Curiello, Rosamund Gammie, Peter Claus, Charles Roe, and Adam Hounslow-Eyre.
The volume examines Grosseteste’s ideas on education, bringing together specialists on medieval studies, modern scientists, and contemporary educationalists. A wide array of papers offer reflections on a series of educational processes, located historically and in the modern day, from university access to Gadamer. A tremendous tribute to the energy of Jack and Steven in bringing the collection together, and to the work of the Ordered Human project in expanding the multi-disciplinary ethos to education theory and practice. And it will be out before Christmas…!
Our new publication from the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, ‘A thirteenth-century theory of speech‘, introduced by its principal author, Joshua Harvey…
As we come to the end of the OxNet Access Summer School the students on Ordered Universe strand have been working very hard across the week with the three treatises by Grosseteste that we read through collaboratively. On the Impressions of the Elements, On the Six Differentiae, and On the Rainbow find Grosseteste at his most intriguing, and in some sense difficult. Approaching these texts is a complex exercise; the complexity itself is a significant part of why the Ordered Universe methodology works through bringing lots of disciplinary perspectives together. The historical context has to be borne in mind – who was Grosseteste, where was he, who was he writing for; the source-base for which he was working and his access to particular works – when, for example, did he encounter Ibn Rushd/Averroes? when did he extended journey through Aristotle’s natural philosophy begin?; what are the phenomena he studies, and why?. How Grosseteste made his investigations took place is another area with a whole series of questions implied, what, for instance did optics mean for Grosseteste? why is astrology in his period sometimes approved of, sometimes condemned?, why does his universe have the shape and structure that he does? And to that we can add both the nature and understanding of the phenomena that he studies – what is a rainbow? colour? sound? a comet?
And the Access students, very much as part of the project, have taken a collaborative approach, and offered their own interpretations, analyses, and insights – some of which were entirely new to the team members teaching this week. As an example of what university research can be (amongst its may and varied and exciting forms) the project is well suited to capture the imagination. What has been so much more encouraging is the way that the students have responded – taking the past on its own terms, seeking out its different values, but at the same time using all of their prior experience, and skills, asking different questions, and trying to answer them, to see the research exercise as a whole. It is an enriching environment, and one that we hope will inspire future directions and choices – and horizon broadening!
August 4th-9th 2019 sees the annual OxNet Access Summer School take place at Pembroke College, University of Oxford. Under the theme Horizons, the scheme brings together all of the hub schools within the OxNet scheme, from London, the North-West, and the North-East, and the varied networks that they represent. These include the four strands that make up the summer school: the North-West Science Network, the Continue reading
As part of the preparations for the second volume in our series, various members of the Ordered Universe team gathered towards the end of July at the Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York, hosted by Tom McLeish. This was a different sort of meeting for the group from our collaborative reading and translating symposia. This time we met to share progress on chapter and section writing for the new volume, and to plan in more detail how sections might knit together, be juxtaposed, and how different interpretations and analyses of the same text might best sit together. Continue reading
A quick update on Ordered Universe and related publications: we were delighted to see the Compotus by Grosseteste, edited and translated by Philipp Nothaft and Alfred Lohr make its appliance earlier this year. To this we will be able to the first volume of our series on the other scientific works. Knowing and Speaking Continue reading
It has been a busy summer season already for the Ordered Universe project. July began with the International Medieval Congress at Leeds. An annual gathering for medievalists, and one of the largest, busiest, and most dynamic in the field, the congress took as its 2019 theme ‘Materialities’. Which suited the project very well. A series of four sessions and a round-table were proposed and accepted – all on Tuesday 2nd July. Tom McLeish, Nicola Polloni, and Francesca Galli led off on Grosseteste and light, from considerations of his view on matter, to light and preaching manuals, and the treatises On Light and On the Six Differentiae. The second session featured Hannah Smithson and Giles Gasper on different aspects of sight and optics, covering the treatises On Colour, On the Rainbow, On the Liberal Arts, On Lines and Angles and On the Nature of Places, as well as some of Grosseteste’s Dicta.
After lunch our third session involved Brian Tanner, Philipp Nothaft, and Anne Mathers on comets, Grosseteste’s Compotus, and weather prediction. The new edition of the Compotus is out and available from OUP, and other booksellers! Anne also has a new book on medieval meteorology out with CUP soon. The fourth and final session focused on Grosseteste and sound, with Joshua Harvey and Sigbjørn Sønnesyn, exploring the experimental and source critical aspects to On the Generation of Sounds. So, we covered quite a lot of Grosseteste’s scientific corpus!
Our final presentation was a round-table, chaired by Tom McLeish, and involving representatives of the wide range of disciplines that compose the project: Laura Cleaver (Art History), Brian Tanner (Physics), Cate Watkinson (Glass Art), Clive Siviour (Engineering), and Giles Gasper (History). A wide-ranging discussion of the implications of inter- or multi-disciplinarity, the evolution of the project, outputs and experience, and the delight that we all share in learning more about each other’s work and insights, the past, and the world around us. Thank you very much to all of the participants, the audiences for talks and round-tables, and the IMC for selecting our proposals! More to come soon…