|May 19, 2014|
|4:45 pm||to||6:15 pm|
Paulson Reading Room
Knight Library, 2nd Floor North
15th & Kincaid Street
University of Oregon
‘Firmar la Mano’: Embodiment and Movement in the Work of Humanist Scholarship
Ludovico Vicentino degli Arrighi (1475–1527) is an important figure in the history of calligraphy and type design. In this paper, Professor Stephanie Jed will explore the rhetoric of embodiment in his Operina, a pamphlet about the writing style known as chancery hand which was a precursor for the fonts we now recognize as italic. According to Arrighi, certain letters possess ‘reason’ on account of their ‘testolina,’ or ‘little heads.’² Other letters have bodies and ‘bellies’ and ‘legs.’ But most important is the ‘live hand’ that creates these letters with its movements, steadiness, and efforts. In particular, Arrighi¹s efforts that produced handmade letters on the page, in woodcuts, and in metal type might be productively examined in relation to current studies in the field of neuroscience. This paper explores, in particular, how Arrighi might have understood the role of the hand in distributing attention, processing visual materials, and creating a we-centric space of scholarship. Framing this talk with neuroscientific research on these topics, Jed suggests ways in which such research might illuminate the significance of Arrighi (and others) as early scholars of embodied cognition AND how the work of figures like Arrighi might enrich current laboratory research with important historical questions.
Stephanie Jed is a professor of literature at UC San Diego.
Sponsored by the Medieval and Early Modern Inquiries into Gender and Sexuality (MEMIGS) research interest group of the Center for the Study of Women in Society.