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Houghton Library

Representative Bodies: Mass Production and the Parliamentary Manuscript in Late Medieval England

Monday, November 7, 2022, 5:30pm - 7:00pm
Houghton Library
Open to the public, Reading/Lecture,

Registration is required. There are 68 seats available.

Houghton Library and the Standing Committee on Medieval Studies present Sonja Drimmer on "Representative Bodies: Mass Production and the Parliamentary Manuscript in Late Medieval England"

Sonja Drimmer is Associate Professor in History of Art and Architecture at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her talk situates illuminated manuscripts of the Nova Statuta at the intersection of art history and the history of the book. Intricately wrought volumes containing the records of parliamentary legislation, these manuscripts show both scribal and artistic signs of manual mass production, aspects that have led to their characterization as unexciting objects. Drawing on manuscripts in Houghton Library, the Harvard Law School Library, and other collections, I will show how these books, far from exhibiting a failure of imagination, succeed in conjuring an aesthetics of representative politics, embodied in pictorial and textual standardization. And yet, close examination of anomalies in these manuscripts shows how profound challenges of representation lurk beneath the veneer of homogeneity.

Reception to follow.

Registration is encouraged but not required.

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Persons with disabilities who would like to request accommodations or have questions about physical access may contact Houghton Library's Administrative Coordinator Le Huong Huynh by email or at 617-495-2443 in advance of the lecture.

Event Organizer

John Overholt