Dec 17, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

British Library MS Additional 42130 (the Luttrell Psalter), detail from fol. 87v.

This is from the Luttrell Psalter: a picture in the bottom margin of fol. 87v, one of a series of scenes from the life of Christ. On the left are the Magi, represented as three kings, and on the right a shepherd with bicoloured mittens points the travellers toward the star of Bethlehem. Merry Christmas from 14th-century England.

Yin Liu

Dec 5, 2013

Interactive medieval media

Interactive is a positive buzzword in the digital world today; the Oxford English Dictionary records it as being applied from the 1960s onward to computing devices that respond to user input. When used of digital media or devices, interactive carries positive connotations because it stands against passive: instead of presupposing a one-way flow of information from a smart device to a stupid user (a model that supports the familiar technology-makes-you-stupid topos), interactivity is engaging, stimulating, perhaps even enhances intellectual ability. Leaving aside, for now, the question of whether interactivity is desirable, we might recognise three ways in which medieval textual interfaces can be said to be interactive.

Brendan Missal, University of Saskatchewan Special Collections