I’m writing to announce the publication of a special issue of Romanic Review devoted to Bruno Latour and the medieval premodern. Romanic Review is now published by Duke University Press, and the issue is available for free on their website for the next three months.
For more details, see Duke’s blog, here. The issue itself is available here. I’ve also pasted a brief description of the volume and its table of contents below.
Please feel free to distribute as appropriate.
Bruno Latour’s philosophical project has long been conceived as a critique of Modernity, starting with Enlightenment dualisms (nature/culture, words/things, sacred/secular) and extending to the Cyber Age’s promise of unmediated access to knowledge (what Latour calls “Double Click”). The contributors to this volume consider the relevance of this critique for the study of the medieval premodern, and specifically ask how Latour’s call for a renewal of metaphysics and for a diplomatic encounter between the various modes of existence might be used to defamiliarize Modern intellectual habits.
The essays assembled here establish a rich dialogue between Latourian metaphysics and medieval cultural artifacts, with individual essays devoted to landscape and navigation in Antoine de La Sale’s Le Paradis de la Reine Sibylle; overlapping modes of reference and fiction in William of Malmesbury’s Gesta regum Anglorum; the politics of exile in Dante and Brunetto Latini; the agency of robots in Old French romances; the ecology and technology of the medieval codex; ontological networks in premodern encyclopedias; reference and religion in medieval bestiaries; love and violence in the Assumption of the Virgin Mary; and technological simulation and theatrical liveness on the early French stage. Each essay seeks to recover medieval modes of existence and to demonstrate that those modes persist, to one degree or another, in our current moment.
Category Crossings: Bruno Latour and Medieval Modes of Existence
Editors, Marilynn Desmond and Noah D. Guynn
1. Marilynn Desmond and Noah D. Guynn
“We Have Always Been Medieval: Bruno Latour and Double Click, Metaphysics and Modernity”
2. Miranda Griffin
“On the Trail of the Sibyl’s Mountain: Antoine de la Sale’s Le Paradis de la Reine Sibylle”
3. Jane Gilbert
“Form and/as Mode of Existence”
4. Catherine Keen
“Extracomunitario? Networks and Brunetto Latini”
5. Mary Franklin-Brown
“Fugitive Figures: On the Modes of Existence of Medieval Automata”
6. Marilynn Desmond
“‘Go Little Book’: The Matter of Troy and the Ecology of the Medieval Codex”
7. Luke Sunderland
“Visualizing Elemental Ontology in the Livre des propriétés des choses”
8. Emma Campbell
“Sound and Vision: Bruno Latour and the Languages of Philippe de Thaon’s Bestiaire”
9. Anke Bernau
“Bruno Latour and the Loving Assumptions of [REL]”
10. Noah D. Guynn
“Binocular Vision: Enchantment and Disenchantment, Metaphysics and Phenomenology on the Late Medieval Stage”
11. Graham Harman
“Response from a Quasi-Latourian”