Space, Place and Elements: Ordered Universe Symposium

Tomorrow sees the fifth Ordered Universe symposium in the current series, as funded by the AHRC (and the twentieth in the all-time rankings) get underway. We’ll be focusing on three texts, all from the mid-years of Grosseteste’s scientific writing career: On the Six DifferencesOn Comets and On the Impressions of the Elements. All are beautiful, intricate and more complex than they look at first reading, and reveal Grosseteste marshalling more sources, working with greater familiarity with Aristotelian natural philosophy and his Arabic-language commentators. Dating from the second decade of the thirteenth century to the first half of the third, Grosseteste’s location at the time of composition is as uncertain, as the political and social turbulence of these years is assured. For what purpose and for whom the treatises were composed remains unclear, whether for teaching or for private reflection. The texts themselves however, are as precise and dauntingly specific as ever.

We are very happy indeed to be back in the elegant surroundings of Pembroke College, Oxford University, and huge thanks to Rebekah White, Clive Siviour, Josh Harvey and Nuala Darnell for organisation. Sarah Gilbert, the Ordered Universe administrator has been the lynchpin in this capacity as well. The programme is available here as PDF and in on Issuu below. Future symposia will be taking place in Montreal (McGill University), Dublin (Trinity College), Lincoln (Bishop Grosseteste University) and Durham, with workshops in between at the University of York. The collaborative reading remains the centre-piece of Ordered Universe activities: a nice reminder of how complex Grosseteste’s ideas were, how hard the process of elucidation is, and the meeting of minds, present and past. We’ll let you know the results and what we’re up to this year!

Sound Medieval and Sound Modern: Reflections on the Mahfouz Forum

It is two weeks since our workshop meeting in Oxford, as part of the Pembroke College Mahfouz Forum, and, as Tom and Ulrike’s posts demonstrate, it has inspired a great deal of thinking and reflection. The Ordered Universe team were extremely grateful to the Mahfouz Forum for funding the workshop, and allowing us to invite new participants as well as familiar faces. 20 or so of us, and from a wonderful array of disciplines, and all to bring focus to one of Grosseteste’s earliest texts. Continue reading

Pembroke College Oxford – a Very Short Introduction

IMG_1170After workshops and conferences held in Durham, Porto and Lincoln, it seems only right that the interdisciplinary and international team of the Ordered Universe Project is now meeting in Oxford – the very place where Grosseteste spent part of his early scholarly career and where today the Bodleian and College libraries keep many of the original manuscripts. Having graduated from the Psychology and Philosophy undergraduate course just this summer, I’m especially looking forward to being in Oxford next week, now as a Pembroke alum. Continue reading

On the Generation of Sounds

For the generation of sound - Grosseteste was, apparently, an accomplished harpist.
For the generation of sound – Grosseteste was, apparently, an accomplished harpist.

20140721_130603#1Our next workshop in the Ordered Universe series is just around the corner,beginning next week on Wednesday October 1st (with a meeting for the core team), and then a two-day workshop on Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd, with a more relaxed Saturday morning. We are delighted that this workshop forms part of the Mahfouz Interdisciplinary Forum, generously funded by the Mahfouz Foundation, at Pembroke College Oxford. Continue reading