Maria Dobozy, Ph.D.

Wednesday, January 30, 3:30 p.m., The Arizona Senior Academy Building

Do you think the accelerating pace of change in our digital world is unique? Think again! Once a radically new technology is developed, such as today’s desktop computer, people become obsessed with new uses and their influences on users. Gutenberg’s invention of movable type in the mid-15th century was just as radical as the computer, and it spread like wildfire. The earliest printed books imitated Latin handwriting (like Gutenberg’s Bible), but soon pamphlets and flyers, or single-leaf prints, usually combined with a woodcut or image, covered political, scientific, moral, and theological topics in the vernacular. Their impact on Europe and the rest of the world was profound: as learning by hearing morphed into learning by reading, literacy spread to the masses to form the basis of our modern world, and some say, to start the Protestant Reformation. 

Single-leaf prints didn’t just combine image with text; they also became multi-media objects because they supported performance; that is, singing or recitation in addition to silent reading. This lecture will focus on a series of single-leaf prints produced between 1520 and 1530 that relate to the siege of Vienna by the Ottoman army of Sultan Suleiman. It will explore how printed poem, image, and performance can interact and thus influence audiences and shape public discourse. 

Dr. Maria Dobozy has resided in Academy Village since the fall of 2017. Recently retired from the University of Utah, she has also held a recurrent professorship in Budapest at the Central European University. Dr. Dobozy is an expert on German medieval literature and has published three books, Full Circle: Kingship in the German Epic (1985); The Saxon Mirror: A Sachsenspiegel of the Fourteenth Century (1999); and Re-Membering the Present: The Medieval German Minstrel in Cultural Context (2005).  Her scholarly interests range from Old Norse Sagas, The Brothers Grimm, Tristan and courtliness, and German attitudes toward the Crusades, to Germanic myths in modern writers like J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. 

Written by Marna Broekhoff, Academy Village Volunteer

Jan. 30: German Single-Leaf Prints as Multi-Media Object after the Time of Gutenberg