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Big Paper in Small Pieces: Drawing as Thinking (Virtual Reading Group & Roundtable)

USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute's 2020-21 Seminar "On Paper"

Part 1: Social Reading Group
Any time, September - October 2020

Participate in the asynchronous, on-going social reading group. Instructions for accessing and discussing the pre-circulated reading, “Handwriting of the Self: Leonardo da Vinci” by David Rosand, through at will be sent to those who register.

Join us whenever and as often as you like before October 29. We will be able to comment on and question the text and each other to ask ourselves how do thinking and drawing relate:
• For Leonardo, as Rosand presents him?
• For each of us, as thinkers, writers, doodlers, scribblers, calligraphers, and/or artists?
• For those of us who still take pen to hand regularly, and/or those of us who think/draw/write with smart apps/devices?

As we peruse Rosand’s text, together we might:
• Consider what Rosand says when a drawing includes both images and text—add your comments as to you think about the similarities/differences between writing and drawing
• See what Rosand says is Leonardo’s “favorite and most typical doodle” and comment on what your own habitual scribbling churns out.
• Find where others have already highlighted passages about lefthandedness: any lefties out there: tell us what you think!
• Highlight what Rosand says about drawing and memory, and in a comment agree or disagree from our own daily experiences …
• Pick out why Rosand calls a key section “Drawing and Knowing”—and comment as to how that relates to our theme of “thinking as drawing”…

On the Oct 29 synchronous event, our guest speakers, who are art/architectural historians and practicing artists, will address your comments as they speak informally about what drawing as thinking means to them in our roundtable conversation. Join our conversation now through our social reading group!

Part 2: Roundtable Conversation
Thursday, October 29, 12:30 - 2 pm (PDT)

Lisa Pon, University of Southern California

Leslie Geddes, Tulane University
Andrea Kantrowitz, SUNY New Paltz
Morgan Ng, University of Cambridge
Nick Sousanis, San Francisco State University

For more information please email:

Please visit the 'External Link' below to register via Zoom for the synchronous zoom meeting and/or the asynchronous reading group.


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