Imaginaries of Universal Knowledge and Language

The second part of the Sadler Seminar The Spirit and the Letter: Radical Practices of Community, Language and Design.

If the impulse to create a better or different world can be understood as the spirit of utopia, the letter introduces a concrete element, the building blocks through which this impulse may be realised. The series explores the interplay between the spirit and the letter of utopia in the context of critical design practice, with a focus on printed culture and auxiliary language communities. 

The second session will explore the relationships between print media, spiritualism and esotericism, with presentations by Jim Mussell (School of English) and Paul Wilson (School of Design).

Jim Mussell will speak about his research on the journalist W.T. Stead (1849-1912), focusing on the way print media of various kinds fell short of the perfect models of connection Stead encountered in spiritualism, particularly telepathy, automatic writing, and contact with the dead. 

Paul Wilson will discuss similar currents of thought within the language communities of Esperanto, drawing from the typographic object of the due-date list in the Esperanto-English dictionary, held in Keighley Library.

These short presentations will be followed by a group discussion, with the aim of identifying interdisciplinary links between cultures of print, critical design practice and radical histories and imaginaries of community.

All are welcome to attend the full seminar. 

Location details

LHRI (Seminar Room 1)