Saturday, 25 February 2012

On Friday 9th March 2012 I shall be talking about timelines at the Université de Bourgogne in Dijon (France) as a guest of the Centre de Recherches Texte / Image / Langage.

It is part of a series on Scientific Illustration organised by Marie-Odile Bernez.

The talk is entitled ‘The Eye of History: pioneering depictions of historical time’. I shall be discussing timelines as a paradigm of the cultural shift to the visual during the eighteenth century, tracing the envy that Chronologists felt for Geography (with all its seductive and memorable visual aids), the excitement about concepts of the mechanical and of uniformity, and the mathematisation of space (in which Descartes and Newton were key figures).

Much of the material deals with French pioneering work in Chronography – not just because I am in France, but because the French really do seem to have been the first to set out time in a graphical, spatialised way and to begin to theorise its advantages.

While I am there, I shall also go to the City Library of Dijon...
...because by happy chance it is one of the two places in France that has a copy of the Explication Générale de la Mappemonde Historique by J. L. Barbeau de La Bruyère. More on that when I have seen it.

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