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  • Date and time: Thursday 6 June 2024, 8pm to 9pm
  • Location: Online only
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required

Event details

Hear how a theoretical physicist and an art historian joined forces to investigate total solar eclipses, breaking down traditional boundaries between the sciences and arts.

Henrike Lange of the University of California at Berkeley will outline a seven-year project on eclipses which she conducted with Tom McLeish (1962-2023), the University of York’s first Professor of Natural Philosophy and longtime contributor to York Festival of Ideas.

The result of their interdisciplinary study was the book Eclipse and Revelation (Oxford University Press, 2024), a behind-the-scenes investigation into labs, archives and museums as well as around fieldwork in astronomy, meteorology, animal behaviour, and ecophysiology.

Join Henrike to learn more about their work on their unique representation of total solar eclipses and a travel report from the April 8, 2024 eclipse in Texas. Your are invited to imagine a liberated mode of discovery, perception, creativity and knowledge-production across the traditional academic divisions.

This is a YouTube Premiere event. You’ll be sent a link to the screening a couple of days before it takes place, as well as a reminder an hour before. Please note that YouTube provides automated captioning that may not be 100% accurate and may vary in quality. Answers to frequently asked questions, plus tips on making the most of your Festival experience, can be found on the Festival website.

Tom McLeish

Tom McLeish (1962-2023) was Professor Emeritus of Natural Philosophy at the University of York. Theoretical physicist and "penseur anglais" (Emmanuel Macron), Tom is best known for his groundbreaking work in soft matter physics and polymers, rheology, history of science and theology of science, and as a Reader in the Anglican Church. Eclipse and Revelation was Tom’s final project and scholarly testament, and is dedicated to him and to astrophysicist Jay M. Pasachoff (contributing author of a chapter about the solar corona, also Pasachoff's final piece of writing).

Image credits: British Council (London) and Oxford University Press

About the speaker

Henrike Lange is Associate Professor of Italian Renaissance Art and Architecture at the University of California at Berkeley. Historian of art, architecture, and literature, Henrike is best known for her work on Italian medieval and Renaissance art and literature, including her publications on artists such as Giotto, Donatello, Mantegna, and research on writers such as Augustine, Dante, and Petrarch.


University of York