"Not of Glass, But of Paper: When Texts Become Lenses (And Why This Matters)" presented by Sanam Nader-Esfahani.
The Faculty Colloquium Series for 2019-20 presents a lecture titled "Not of Glass, But of Paper: When Texts Become Lenses (And Why This Matters)" presented by Sanam Nader-Esfahani, assistant professor of French.
The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries mark a pivotal moment in the history of visual theories and technologies. From enhancements in the understanding and craftsmanship of lenses to new conclusions about the location and form of the image inside the eye, from progress in ophthalmology to telescopic discoveries, these developments raised questions about the nature of vision, exposed the vulnerability and limitations of “the most noble sense”, and created a rivalry between the natural organ of sight and the artificial instrument.
This talk analyzes works from the French and Italian traditions in the early modern period in light of the conversations that animated their contemporary scientific debates. Why might an author privilege the lens as a means of representation, be it through an explicit use of the metaphor or more implicitly in the text’s formal components? What does it mean for a text to behave as a lens, and what are the implications of its lenticular nature for the dynamic between vision, knowledge and power?
Faculty Colloquium events are sponsored by a group of faculty colleagues who meet informally with the purpose of supporting and promoting the College’s commitment to faculty research. Colleagues interested in joining this endeavor are welcome and should contact us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org . Faculty, staff, and members of the administration are cordially invited to attend these presentations.