Art History and Communication Studies Speaker Series Winter 2014 presents:
Dr. Glenn Peers
Thinking with Things in Byzantium
Abstract: The first preposition in the title matters to the degree that it not only indicates some mutual work humans and things can do together, but it also supposes agency and determinacy for objects themselves in that culture. So, if objects thought (as this talk will argue), little separated them from human subjects that ostensibly acted on their things. Objects spoke, moved, bled, and acted like humans, though less predictably and perhaps in the way rocks act: without much speed for the most part, but undeniably. By examining some Byzantine things closely, from the point of view of materials, crafting and independent afterlife, this paper tries to reclaim the spread of thinking in that world that our own assumptions have led us to overlook.