|Broedel to speak on animals in Renaissance natural history|
As part of the English Department Speaker Series, Hans Broedel (history) will present “'Now I Will Believe That There Are Unicorns': Pondering the Presence of Fabulous Animals in Renaissance Natural History" at 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16, in 116 Merrifield Hall.
Despite changes in scholarly methods, the discovery of New Worlds, and increasing academic skepticism about the received wisdom of the ancients, classically authorized fabulous animals survived and even flourished within the pages of early modern natural histories. Broedel's paper examines three more-or-less representative works, those of Conrad Gesner (1551), John Maplet (1567) and Wolfgang Franzius (1612), and argues that although the meaning of such animals was changing from that of medieval bestiaries and encyclopedias, the shifting epistemological assumptions of these authors perpetuated and even revitalized belief in some fabulous creatures.
-- Rebecca Weaver-Hightower, Assistant Professor, English, email@example.com, 777-6391