主讲人：Michael Shank（Professor of University of Wisconsin-Madison）
主题：The Long Reach of the Galileo Affair: From Hypatia to Agora
摘要：This talk has its origins in the juxtaposition of a Galileo course, the film “Agora” (2009), and my reflections on narratives of decline and progress in the sciences. After noticing curious resemblances between the Galileo Affair and the film, I formulated the hypothesis that, in the popular mind, the Galileo Affair has freed itself from the bondage of history. Abstracted, it is now a seductive “narrative structure” of considerable importance because it apparently has the ability to replicate itself on a variety of scales (effectively, a narrative fractal) and to shape episodes that have nothing whatever to do with it. This talk illustrates my thesis by considering the story of the life and murder of the 4-5th c. philosopher and mathematician Hypatia. I trace her rise from relative obscurity until the 18th century to the polemical analogue of a simplified and misunderstood version of the Galileo Affair, culminating most recently in Amenábar’s beautiful but historically distorted film.