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Thinking With words and images: Exploring the book from Medieval France to Post-Colonial Algeria

11:00am-12:00pm on Saturday 27 March

Times shown are in GMT (UTC +0) up to the 27th March. For events on or after 28th March times are in BST (UTC +1).

This session focuses on the book as an enduring technology, with a particular emphasis on the use of the book as a physical object, and its potential as a receptacle of words and images. It will take us from the Middle Ages, when the production of the manuscript came into its own, to contemporary Algeria, where, even in a digital age, the form of the book and its potential are still being explored.

In our session, we will ask how the ever-changing relationship between image and text contributes to the continued life of the book. We will suggest that there is something particularly generative and future-oriented about the shifting interplay between word and image and examine why and how the book, especially where it combines word and image, can be used to explore a variety of socio-political issues, and the place of the human in the world.

Using examples from contemporary Algerian graphic novels and late medieval manuscripts, we will engage with ideas about modernity and technology, showing how a premodern form — that of the medieval book — continues to shape the way we are and the way we think. Delivering our session in the age of Zoom, we will reflect on the role of physical objects in an increasingly digital and virtual world, as well as on the (dis)continuities between our reading practices across time, space and cultures.

Emily Kate Price is Lecturer in French at Robinson College, Cambridge, where she teaches and researches on medieval literature and culture. Emily arrived in Cambridge in 2018 after completing her PhD at New York University, following spells in Germany and France. A bookworm since childhood, Emily’s research, broadly framed, asks how literature in its many forms helps us to live. 

Sura Qadiri is Lecturer in French at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, and has previously taught at UCL and Oxford. She has a special interest in postcolonial francophone literature from North Africa, sometimes the Middle East, and also in contemporary French literature that explores the theme of social diversity. 

Booking email address:

Booking/Registration is: REQUIRED

Additional Information

Age: Adults
Timing: Live Stream
Cost: Free
Theme: Explore
Image copyright: British Library MS Harley 4431 f. 290

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