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How to Read Like Galileo

  • How to Read Like Galileo

The Department of Italian cordially invites faculty and professional staff to, "How to read like Galileo," a lecture by Crystal Hall of the University of Kansas and Bowdoin College, at 4:45 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 20, in the Great Room of Ware College House.

Galileo made and refined many instruments to help him gather the data to support his theories and those of Copernicus, but none was as strong as the power of the written word. He described the investigative situation using a common metaphor, saying that philosophers needed to read the Book of Nature, that is, the world outside their windows, a volume always open and always ready to be read.  This talk will examine the printed books in Galileo’s library and the books that his fictional characters claim they own in order to outline the reading strategies that Galileo championed for his new philosophical and scientific endeavors. Rather than be a lecture, the talk will use a combination of images and quotations to help the audience interact with the sources related to the books that Galileo owned and to attempt to pass Galileo’s tests for successful reading skills.

Crystal Hall is Assistant Professor of Italian at the University of Kansas and Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities for Bowdoin College's Digital and Computational Studies Initiative.  She is the author of Galileo's Reading (Cambridge UP, 2014).

This event is co-sponsored by CLAS, the departments of Italian, Philosophy, Art and Art History, Religious Studies, the program in Comparative Literary Studies, and Ware College House, as part of a celebratory series for Galileo's 450th birthday.