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The Lisa Jardine Memorial Lecture 2022

The 2022 Lisa Jardine Memorial Lecture was given by Professor Bill Sherman on Tuesday 15th March 2022.

This illustrated lecture used the crucial case of Erasmus – Protestant reformer and so-called Prince of Humanists – to reconsider the complex attitudes between reading and seeing in 16th-century Europe.

Between medieval illumination and modern illustration, Bill emphasised, there are many examples of reading as a visual (rather than verbal) activity.

Such signs have been surprisingly easy to overlook, he argued, and the early modern period has often been seen as the moment in Western culture when (under the twin forces of the Protestant Reformation and the Scientific Revolution) the eye lost its place as the most powerful organ for apprehending the world.

Professor Bill Sherman’s lecture was part of a series in memory of Lisa Jardine (1944-2015). Lisa made a huge contribution across a wide area as a Professor of Renaissance Studies, author, broadcaster, Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Agency, and more.