Podcast 11: Medieval Cosmological Diagrams and Opicinus de Canistris

In our most recent podcast Sarah Griffin (DPhil in Art History) talks to us about the enigmatic diagrams of Opicinus de Canistris, a cosmologist, cartographer, theologian, and writer, who worked in the Avignon papacy in the fourteenth century. He made elaborate and complex diagrams, like this one, and some scholars believe that he was insane, leading some to categorise his work as ‘outsider art’:


Diagram with Crucifixion, 1335-50. Public Domain.

Listen to the podcast to find out more about him!

Trained as an illuminator in Genoa, Opicinus drew diagrams and wrote journals that contained calendars and autobiographical, geographical, cosmological, and theological details. Most of his works are kept in the Vatican and you can see the diagram that we discuss here, in images 53 and 54 (fol. 14r). The Vatican has also digitised some of his journals, which are also available on their website. 


Podcast 10: Modernist Friendships and Rivalries

This week Kristin Grogan, a D.Phil student in English at Exeter College, talks to us about modernist writers, including Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Wyndham Lewis, T. S. Eliot and Richard Wright. Should Ezra Pound have learned how to box? Did Gertrude Stein love her ceramic pig’s eyes or tail more? How do you tell if a modernist is too capitalist to read? And why did Ernest Hemingway think F. Scott Fitzgerald would feel better about himself if he took a stroll around the classical statuary galleries in the Louvre?

You can listen here: