Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Historian Wins Grant for Study of Medieval Automata

Elly Truitt, Assistant Professor of History at Bryn Mawr College, has received a Scholar’s Award from the National Science Foundation to fund a year’s time doing research for and writing her new book, tentatively titled Magical Mechanisms: Automata in the Medieval West.

“Automata—artificial objects that are, or appear to be, self-moving—were culturally significant in medieval Europe,” says Truitt in describing her research subject. “They appear as diplomatic gifts from distant rulers to European courts; in stories and legends and chronicles of distant lands and times; as manifestations of esoteric and sometimes forbidden knowledge; in courtly settings of great luxury; attached to monumental clockworks; as examples of technological innovation, and in the service of the Church.”

Click here to read this article on Medievalists.net