Window Gazes and World Views: A Chapter in the Cultural History of Vision

Dartmouth Events

Window Gazes and World Views: A Chapter in the Cultural History of Vision

Daniel Jütte, Harvard Society of Fellows, presents a lecture on viewing and vision in premodern Europe from the perspective of cultural history rather than intellectual history.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015
312 Carson Hall
Intended Audience(s): Public
Categories: Lectures & Seminars

Looking out of windows—a practice that might now seem monotonous and even trivial—was one of the favorite leisure activities of premodern Europeans. This talk sets out to demonstrate that a history of gazing from the window can open, quite literally, a new window on a subject that thus far has been studied primarily from the perspective of intellectual history, and too rarely from a perspective of cultural history—namely, the history of viewing and vision. Such a history requires close attention not only to the culture of everyday life, but also to the history of architecture, as well as to social and legal history. The talk’s focus will be on the medieval and early modern period—times in which the practice of looking out the window became a particularly contested issue, and sparked larger questions about the nature of human perception as well as about religious world views.
Jütte is the author of  Das Zeitalter des Geheimnisses: Juden, Christen und die Ökonomie des Geheimen, 1400–1800,
which is forthcoming in English translation with Yale University Press as  The Age of Secrecy: Jews, Christians, and the Economy of Secrets, 1500-1800.  Biographical information is here:

For more information, contact:
Darrin McMahon

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.