Alice Jenkins, Professor of Victorian Literature and Culture at the University of Glasgow, will be giving a paper entitled "‘Eternal and unchangeable’?: Victorian anti-reception of Euclid" in the UCL Reading and Reception Seminar on May 6 at 5.30 p.m. at G24, Foster Court, Malet Place, UCL, London, WC1E 6BT. Her paper considers Victorian accounts of how to read, use and respond to Euclid’s Elements, a text in which enormous cultural prestige was invested and which generated sharp controversy and polemic through the nineteenth century. Though the Elements played a key role in the period’s classicism, and enjoyed an extraordinary status as an ancient text of continuing practical use in science, the focus of this paper will be less on the history of the text itself than on what was at stake in the often bitter and ad hominem disputes about how it should be approached. In her talk, Jenkins will propose that Victorian writing about the Elements is a useful case study in the anti-reception of classical and scientific texts.
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