“My central enquiry is how people in different social groups use persuasion to achieve what they want, and what this suggests about different people.”
It could be the opening of a new age psychology book, but it’s actually the basis of Dr Antonio Sennis’s (UCL History) research into the Middle Ages, amiably shared with us in a 13 March Lunch Hour Lecture, titled “Medieval Languages of Persuasion”.
So, what exactly can we learn about medieval Italian society based on the methods people used to influence each other?
A world of persuasion
Dr Sennis illustrated some of the key features of persuasion in this period through a topical example.
At UCL, we are persuaded to attend the Lunch Hour Lectures through a relatively gentle advertising campaign involving some unobtrusive posters and emails.
Perhaps we might feel somewhat dumber for our non-attendance, but the campaign seems underpinned by the kind of do-as-you-like liberalism that we expect from our democracy. Right? (more…)