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Book Launch - Dr James L Smith

Tuesday, 1 May 2018, 5:30 – 6:30pm

Book Launch - Dr James L Smith

An evening to mark the launch of Trinity Long Room Hub Visiting Fellow Dr James L. Smith's book 'Water in Medieval Intellectual Culture: Case Studies from Twelfth-Century Monasticism,' Cursor Mundi 30 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2018) with an introduction by Dr Mark Hennessy.
About the book
This study examines the significance and the deployment of fluid imagery in the composition, narration, and recollection of organised thought in the High Middle Ages through a blend of environmental and intellectual history.

This volume provides a new contribution to the understanding of twelfth-century monasticism and medieval intellectual culture by exploring the relationship between water and the composition of thought. It provides a fresh insight into twelfth-century monastic philosophies by studying the use of water as an abstract entity in medieval thought to frame and discuss topics such as spirituality, the natural order, knowledge visualization, and metaphysics in various high medieval texts, including Godfrey of Saint-Victor’s Fons Philosophiae, Peter of Celle’s letter corpus, and the Description of Clairvaux.

Through case studies of water in poetry, landscape narrative, and epistolary communication, this work traces the role of water as a uniquely medieval instrument of thought. Theoretical chapters of this book use water to explore the shaping of the medieval metaphor. Further case studies examine the differing and complex uses of water as a metaphor in various monastic texts. Focussing on the changeable power and material properties of water, this volume assesses the significance and deployment of environmental imagery in the composition, narration, and recollection of organized thought within the twelfth-century monastic community.

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About Dr James Smith
James L. Smith is a visiting research fellow at the Trinity College Dublin Long Room Hub. In addition to the authorship of Water in Medieval Intellectual Culture, James is the editor of The Passenger: Medieval Texts and Transits (punctum books, 2017), and co-editor of a forthcoming themed collection of the Open Library of the Humanities on “New Approaches to Medieval Water Studies”. James is also Marketing Officer for the Open Library of Humanities.

In addition to interests in medieval intellectual and environmental history, and landscape studies with an emphasis on water history, he has a strong interest in medievalisms and medieval cartography. James is associated with the Digital Humanities and Environmental Humanities themes at TCD.

Follow James on Twitter
About Dr Mark Hennessy
Mark Hennessy is Assistant Professor of Historical Geography at Trinity College Dublin, with a research focus on the historical geography of medieval Ireland. He has affiliations with the Trinity Long Room Hub, the Making Ireland theme across the College, the Centre for the Environment, and the Discovery Programme Centre for Archaeology and Innovation Ireland. Professor Hennessy is the Convener of the inter-disciplinary, cross-school and cross-faculty Making Ireland research theme in Trinity College.

Campus LocationTrinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute
Accessibility: Yes
Room: Hoey Ideas Space
Research Theme: Making Ireland
Event Category: Alumni, Arts and Culture, Library, Public, Special events
Type of Event: One-time event
Audience: Undergrad, Postgrad, Alumni, Faculty & Staff, Public

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