Dr Anna Somfai (Central European University)
Full-day, from 10.00 to 17.00
Maximum: 12 students
Venue: Senate House

The course explores, through a close look at various folio layouts of different genres, the cognitive processes behind the design and use of the physical and mental space of medieval manuscript folios. The focus is on a study of the intricate details of producing layouts (ruling, using a hierarchy of initials, planning the text-image spatial relationship, planting bookmarks, etc.) and the consecutive engagement with the content of texts and images (the annotator-reader's textual and visual glosses, intellectual and physical additions and cut-outs). Designing a layout is directly relevant to the transmission of ideas and knowledge and to teaching and learning practices. We shall explore and analyse in detail a large number of folio layouts. Original manuscript folios will be studied in class in addition to a number of digital images. Participants of the course are invited to create and discuss their own design of a folio in order to understand the intricacies of medieval layout design.


Mise en page et mise en texte du livre manuscrit, ed. Henri-Jean Martin, Jean Vezin, Paris 1990

Murdoch, John E., Album of Science. Antiquity and the Middle Ages, New York 1984

Reading Medieval Images. The Art Historian and the Object, ed. Elizabeth Sears, Thelma K. Thomas, Michigan 2002

Sherman, Claire Richter, Imaging Aristotle. Verbal and Visual Representations in Fourteenth-Century France, Berkeley, Los Angeles, Oxford, 1995