• Le 07 novembre 2017
    Campus Lombarderie
    UFR Sciences et Techniques
    2 rue de la Houssinière
    44322 Nantes Cedex 3

    Le séminaire aura lieu dans le bâtiment 25 dans la salle des séminaires du Centre François Viète (sonnette au RDC).
  • de 17h00 à 18h30

Le séminaire du Centre François Viète donne la parole à James D. Fleming, Simon Fraser University (British Columbia, Canada), Department of English Literature. Partenaire du programme ATLANTYS, co-responsable de l'axe 2.

Ce séminaire de James D. Fleming portera sur " Curing the Word : Timothy Bright and the Invention of Information, 1588-1600 "
  • Mardi 7 novembre 2017
  • Salle des séminaires du Centre François Viète (UFR Sciences et Techniques, bâtiment 25, sonnette au RDC)
  • 17h00 - 18h30
  • Ouvert à tous

Résumé du séminaire :

My subject will be the emergence of shorthand note-taking (stenography) as a revolutionary information technology of late sixteenth-century London. Lost for centuries, the art of shorthand was reinvented in 1588 by the physician and clergyman Timothy Bright (1551-1615). For the first time, it became possible to record speeches, sermons and even plays verbatim. This capability was experienced by contemporaries as both thrilling and disturbing. Bright's book Characterie (1588) started a craze for shorthand systems that led eventually to the "real character" of John Wilkins (1614-1672); which, in turn, strongly influenced Leibniz's lifelong search for a characteristica universalis, or notation of thought. Thus Characterie stands among the deep origins of the modern digital world.

But more important than genealogy is phenomenology. Bright's oral recording system, precisely because it is so antiquated and obscure, allows us a long-distance perspective on the very nature of information technology. Bright seeks control over the flow of orality, much as though it were an excess of melancholy humor. He seeks to cure the word—and thereby to extricate us from it. Several period dramatists--notably Shakespeare and Ben Jonson--responded negatively to the resulting alienation. Their attacks on obsessive note-takers make an historical contribution to a critical theory of information.