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How to have visions and influence people

uclektm18 March 2014

“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?

The Abbey of Farfa today

The Abbey of Farfa today

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…)

Nasty, Brutish and Short? Re-making the Early Middle Ages

news editor14 February 2012

Professor Andrew Reynolds’ lecture in the 75th Anniversary Inaugural Lecture series (on 6 February) was as crowded and full as any of the previous four – and a number of luminaries were in the audience with long term interests in Andrew’s work.

The Director’s introduction drew attention to Andrew’s achievements and academic history – and also reminded the audience that, apart from the contribution he has made in a remarkably short time to medieval archaeology, he is also an accomplished craftsman and a former pop star.

This tour de force of an introduction was both informative and wide-ranging, reminding the audience of Andrew’s particular attributes as well as about the role of medieval archaeology in the Institute.

Andrew offered a brief synopsis of his own career, paying tribute to the debt he owed his parents in allowing him so much leeway. He explained his growing interest in archaeology, and particularly initially fieldwork in terms of both excavation and landscape, with a return to his native and much-loved Wiltshire.

(more…)