Department of Art and Art History Calendar

Art History Lecture Series presents Jean Givens

Reading Beyond the Text: Word, Image, and Graphic Display in a Medieval Book of Herbal Remedies

Medieval Manuscripts featuring herbal remedies.

The Medieval Tractatus de herbis had the sort of long run that modern scholars can only envy; originally compiled in Latin, this illustrated guide to herbal medicine was translated into French and English, and eventually, printed in the early sixteenth century. But how did a work first intended for thirteenth-century academics serve professional physicians two centuries later? As argued here, the translation process was as much visual as verbal and the results offer a particularly clear demonstration of the dynamic capacities of graphic communication.

Dr. Givens is an Associate Professor in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Connecticut. She received her BA, MA and PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. In addition to teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses, Dr. Givens has made significant contributions to new teaching methodologies, specifically her own research engaging issues related to technology and transfer of visual information. With the support of a grant from the University of Connecticut Chancellor's Research Foundation, Dr. Givens has published a book entitled Observation and Image-Making in Gothic Art (Cambridge University Press, 2005).