Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Nice SEMA piece at Indirections

by J J Cohen

Check out the blog Indirections by Nic D'Alessio for another overview of the recent SEMA conference. Nic picked up on my seismic metaphors, which I admit I overused -- but I was provoked by Mandeville's Travels as an event rather than a mere text. My plenary lecture was obsesssed with Mandeville and rocks, moving from a geological conceptualization (stones, ruins and marble tombs as inanimate holders of history) to a seismic one (a vibration, a movement, a vector of change -- discernible better as a passing than as the residue of a wake).

I did say, repeatedly, that SEMA was seismic. I meant it: the conference has already outlived its three day course, and continues to ripple through blogs, conversations, emails, emergent projects. If you haven't felt its tremors yet, you will.


Nic D'Alessio said...

Thanks for the link JJC!

Never got the chance to ask if you've looked at Albert the Great's treatise on rocks/minerals. Please excuse me if you mentioned it in your talk, but I've forgotten.

Jeffrey Cohen said...

Not yet. I've used Albertus before, especially in trying to think about equine and human bodies via humoral theory as sharing similar kinds of flow. Albertus, obsessed with horses, is great for that. But the work I am turning to now includes a deeper look at the medieval lapidaries, and Albertus Magnus is on my list -- thanks for the reminder.